Reports: Zuma's lawyers expected to apply for bid to overturn NPA’s decision

The Sunday Times also reports that Shaik, who will testify in the trial, will maintain that the payments he made to Zuma were not corrupt.

FILE: Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Former president Jacob Zuma's lawyers are expected to apply for the case to be struck off the roll arguing that there was prosecutorial manipulation and misconduct.

The Sunday Times is reporting that in efforts to keep Zuma out of jail his legal team will argue that he had no intention to commit crime when he and his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik met with French arms manufacturer Thales and that he was following African National Congress (ANC) policy to support black business.

Zuma faces 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in connection with the arms deal.

The paper also reports that Shaik, who will testify in the trial, will maintain that the payments he made to Zuma were not corrupt.

Abrahams said he notified the former president earlier on Friday of his decision.

He explained that Zuma’s representations were unsuccessful.

“Mr Zuma’s representation, broadly speaking, largely relates to allegations of a prosecution characterised by prosecutorial manipulation, impropriety, fair trial abuses, prosecutorial misconduct, deliberate leaking of information to the media and irrational decisions made by various national directors and/or acting national directors of public prosecution.”

Abrahams said Zuma disputes all the allegations against him, and that he lacked the requisite intent to commit the crimes.

DA WANTS TRANSPARENCY

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it wants a tally of how much money the state has spent on Zuma’s fees and for him to pay it back.

President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed last week that the state had entered into an agreement with Zuma to pay for his legal defence.

The DA says this deal can’t be legal.

The party has welcomed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)’s decision to reinstate fraud and corruption charges against Zuma but its leader Mmusi Maimane says the former president must foot the bill himself.

“Otherwise all of us must be entitled to legal protection from the state. The former president Mr Zuma was facing these charges as a private citizen, the case was the Democratic Alliance vs Mr ZG Zuma.”

Maimane says he wants Ramaphosa to be transparent concerning the state’s agreement with Zuma.

The DA leader says the decision will give Zuma what he has always wanted.

“We believe that it is right to give what Jacob Zuma has always requested, which is his day in court.”

Maimane said in an effort to ensure that the NPA doesn’t falter in prosecuting high seated people such as a sitting president in future, Parliament needs to be allowed in deciding who will head the authority.

“So that all of us are satisfied that the person appointed as national director of public prosecutions is, in fact, fit and proper for the role and will swear allegiance to their oath of office.”

Maimane said there should be a review of the state’s decision to pay for Zuma’s legal fees.

He says he believes that agreement could be in principle illegal and irrational.