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31 Mar 2009 16:30
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should be able to say by Friday when it intends to announce whether charges against African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma would be dropped, NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said on Tuesday.
“The meeting has been concluded for the day, however, we are in a position to indicate that on Friday we should be standing on a solid or firm footing to give an indication to the media and South Africa as to when the actual decision will be communicated in this regard,” Tlali said.
There were certain “pieces of the puzzle” that the NPA needed to work through before reaching a final decision, Tlali told reporters at OR Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg.
He would not elaborate, saying the matter was “confidential”.
This comes after a marathon two-day meeting on whether to continue with the case or not, following representations made to the NPA by Zuma’s lawyers.
Zuma’s lawyers hoped the representations would help reverse the decision to take him to court in August.
Zuma faced 16 criminal charges, including one of racketeering, one of money-laundering, two of corruption and 12 of fraud.
Earlier, Zuma was waiting, like the rest of South Africa, to hear whether the NPA would drop charges.
“... the fact that I submitted or made submissions to the NPA is a well-known fact and the fact they will review my submissions is a well-known fact,” he told a business breakfast in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
“What we did not know, what was going to be their decision.
The decision could be that they are proceeding with the case or, given the clarifications ...
He criticised opposition parties for pre-empting the NPA’s decision after Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille made submissions to the NPA on why the charges against Zuma should not be dropped.
“It is hypocritical to say you respect the Constitution and the rule of law and when the processes of the law are happening within the law ... both the accused and the NPA are operating within the law, why do you jump and interfere?
“You even attack a decision that does not exist,” he said.
Zuma’s charges were related to a multibillion-rand government arms deal.
Media reports had speculated that the charges would be dropped.
The announcement could end a lengthy legal battle between the authority and Zuma.—Sapa
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