Process to prosecute Zuma now moves to KZN

Advocate Abrahams says he considered Zuma’s representations after the Supreme Court set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw charges against him.

Jacob Zuma delivering an address on 14 February 2018 in which he announced his resignation as president of South Africa. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA – The process to prosecute former president Jacob Zuma now moves to KwaZulu-Natal where he will be summoned to appear in court.

Prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams announced on Friday that the Zuma’s representation on why he should have his day in court were unsuccessful.

The move follows the supreme court’s ruling last year to set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw charges against Zuma which means the 2007 decision to charge him stands.

Advocate Abrahams says he considered Zuma’s representations after the Supreme Court set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw charges against him.

“The indictment served on Mr Zuma in December 2007 thus stood. Mr Zuma submitted representations to me, Mr Zuma’s representations are unsuccessful.”

Abrahams says the matter is no longer in his hands.

“The Director of Public Prosecution in KwaZulu-Natal will facilitate the necessary processes for Mr Zuma and his co-accused to appear in court.”

The advocate says he notified Zuma of his decision prior to the announcement.

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

The African National Congress (ANC) has reacted to the announcement by Abrahams that Zuma will be prosecuted on corruption charges.

The ANC said the former president must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The party said it will not drop Zuma from its election campaign program despite him facing corruption charges.

The ANC has previously supported its former president as the Democratic Alliance (DA) pushed for corruption charges against him to be reinstated, saying they would support him until he was proven guilty in a court of law.

Zuma is no longer the leader of the ANC, but he is still active in the party, attending its elections workshops and helping to campaign ahead of the 2019 elections.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party will still use Zuma during campaigns despite him facing charges.

“Mr Zuma is innocent until proven otherwise.”

He said this won’t have an impact on the ANC.

“We’ll be able to use some of the platforms available to him to try and create the clarity required by society.”

The ANC has called on South Africans to afford the NPA space to conduct its work unhindered, saying its former president must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

HISTORIC DAY

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA), which has been pursuing Zuma since he assumed office in 2009 demanding that corruption charges against the former president be reinstated, has described the NPA’s decision as historic.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the party is happy that Zuma will finally face the full might of the law.

“It’s a historic day to ensure that there’s accountability effected on Mr Zuma. We now need to ensure that the state does not finance his legal fees, Mr Zuma has his day in court and, ultimately, we must ensure that his charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering are prosecuted to the full length.”

At the same time, the Economic Freedom Fighters said Zuma’s corruption trial must provide a neutral platform for all matters relating to his charges to be ventilated and ended.

The party said it still wants Abrahams to step down, saying the courts have declared that his appointment was illegitimate.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)