NPA: Still no decision on Zuma charges

There was no word yet on whether African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Jacob Zuma would have to face new corruption charges as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was still considering the case, an NPA spokesperson said on Monday.

“It is a very painstaking process of consideration,” said NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali, speaking less than a month before the ANC holds it national conference and elects its future leader, a position for which Zuma appears to have widespread support.

“It involves the preparation of reports and other forms of documentation presented to the NPA management. It can be a very involved process around which it is difficult to provide a timeframe,” he said.

“We should make a decision known as soon as we are ready.
We need to round up or conclude all outstanding business ... before the NPA can make a decision or announcement on that.”

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed an appeal by Zuma to stop the state from getting documents being held in Mauritius.

In another ruling, the SCA upheld an appeal by the national director of public prosecutions against a high court order setting aside five search warrants against Zuma and his Durban-based lawyer, Michael Hulley.

The judgments relate to a long investigation into corruption in a multibillion-rand arms deal. Zuma’s financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, has already been sentenced for corruption and fraud in the same investigation.

At the time of the SCA judgments, Hulley said they would consider appealing them in the Constitutional Court. A court official said they not yet received an application relating to that matter.

‘Even better’

Meanwhile, the Star reported last week that Zuma said the country would become even better if he became president.

Speaking at the 1926 Club at Johannesburg’s Rand Club, Zuma’s response to those who were thinking of leaving South Africa if he became president was: “I can assure you that this country will become even better.”

He reportedly denied that either he or his spokesperson had told a Johannesburg weekend newspaper that if he went down, he would take the ANC with him.

Zuma said that if one examined the article closely, it attributed the remark to one of his supporters. However, he did not say whether the remark accurately reflected his sentiments, the Star said.

He said that he wanted the ANC congress in Polokwane next month to introduce term limits for its presidents, with the aim of preventing two conflicting centres of power emerging within the ruling party.

Zuma reportedly said the party had, at its Mafikeng congress in 1997, briefly debated whether it should introduce term limits by bringing the ANC and national presidential terms into line—but had decided against it.

He believed term limits had become an issue again and should be debated in Polokwane—“rather than leaving matters to chance”.—Sapa

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