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NPA: Constitution allows Zuma to exercise his rights amid corruption case

Jacob Zuma appeared in court for the first time since losing his bid to convince NPA boss Shaun Abrahams not to prosecute him.

Former South African president Jacob Zuma in the dock at the Durban High Court on 6 April 2018 for a preliminary hearing related to charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool Photo

JOHANNESBURG - With questions being raised around whether former president Jacob Zuma will use delaying tactics to avoid having his trial begin in court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the Constitution allows for him to exercise his rights fully.

Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court for the first time since losing his bid to convince NPA boss Shaun Abrahams not to prosecute him.

He is facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering. His case will resume on 8 June.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku said: “Provisionally in the sense that they indicated that they will launch a review application as well as make representations to the DPP. If those processes are not finalised by 8 [June], that would necessitate that we change that date and they won’t appear on that date.”

Mfaku says the former president has the right to explore all options provided by the justice system.

“It is each and every person’s right. Our Constitution entrenches the checks and balances, the right to review and appeal is intrinsic in that system. Therefore, it would be very myopic for us to say a person who is exercising those rights is employing delaying tactics.”