Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has told President Jacob Zuma that it will only consider new representations on why he should not face corruption charges, it announced on Friday.
This after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) earlier this month dismissed an application by Zuma and the NPA to appeal a High Court ruling that the 2009 decision to drop 18 corruption charges against him was irrational. The charges related to Zuma's alleged involvement in the country’s multi-billion rand arms deal.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku detailed the timeline for Zuma’s possible prosecution, including that he has until November 30 to make representations as to why the prosecuting authority should not charge him with corruption.
"The NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions) is of the view that, in light of the judgment of the SCA, it appears that any further representations envisaged by Mr Zuma should relate to issues not previously considered," Mfaku said in a statement.
On April 6, 2009, then-NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said recordings of telephone conversations between then-Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.
The "spy tapes" saga
Mpshe had dropped the charges based on the so-called "spy tapes" presented to him by Zuma’s legal team. However, it was never established where Zuma had obtained them.
The 18 charges were subsequently withdrawn, just before Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.
In Friday’s statement, the NPA said the investigating officers had also been given the deadline of November 30 to report back on availability of witnesses.
"It was agreed that the investigating officer would require at least 30 days to conduct an initial assessment, prior to reverting to the NPA on the availability of the witnesses and any factor(s) which may or may not impact on the feasibility of the re-enrolment of the matter," Mfaku said.
The DA, which has been fighting for Zuma to finally have his day in court, has also been given the opportunity to make representations.
The NPA has also asked Willie Hofmeyr, who was NDPP deputy director at the time, to respond to the scathing criticism of his actions in the decision to drop the charges.
Hofmeyr, who was a key player in Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges, had deposed an affidavit on behalf of the NPA in the legal challenge.
Read the full statement here: