Prosecutors given 2 weeks to study Zuma’s representations on avoiding charges

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku says after two weeks, prosecutors should submit their recommendations of the matter to Abrahams.

FILE: Jacob Zuma ahead of the announcement of the ANC's new top 6 on 18 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says prosecutors have two weeks to study President Jacob Zuma's representations into why he should not be indicted for corruption.

On Wednesday night, Zuma's legal team filed the representation to NDPP head Shaun Abrahams, explaining why the president should not face the 783 charges of fraud, money laundering and racketeering.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku says after two weeks, prosecutors should submit their recommendations on the matter to Abrahams.

“The representations were personally received by the National Director, they are under his care.”

The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside the 2009 decision by then prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw the criminal case against Zuma.

The effect of the judgment is that charges are automatically reinstated but Abrahams had given the president one last chance to argue why he should not have his day in court.

In a letter sent to Zuma’s attorney last year, Abrahams said that the scope for representations was extremely limited because the courts have rejected those already submitted in 2009.

Abrahams also informed Zuma’s legal team that all of the 218 witnesses listed in the original indictment have confirmed their availability to testify in the matter.

While the president asked for the deadline to be extended until the middle of next month, Abrahams gave him until today and warned that no further extensions would be entertained.

The prosecutions boss has stated in legal correspondence that once he has received the representations, he will communicate the process and timeline he intends to follow to the affected parties.

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman.