President Jacob Zuma is expected to submit new representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on why he should not face corruption charges.
The NPA had given Zuma until November 30 to make his representations after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma and the NPA’s application to appeal a High Court ruling that the 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against him was irrational.
The ruling made on October 13 came after Zuma and the NPA conceded during arguments that the decision not to prosecute the president was irrational.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku detailed the timeline for Zuma’s possible prosecution, including Thursday’s deadline for him to say why the prosecuting authority should not charge him with corruption.
The charges relate to Zuma’s alleged involvement in the country’s multi-billion rand arms deal.
On April 6, 2009, then NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.
DA to make its own representations
Mpshe had dropped the charges based on the so-called “spy tapes” presented to him by Zuma’s legal team. However, it was never established how Zuma had obtained them.
The charges were subsequently withdrawn, just before Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.
The NPA said the investigating officer had also been given the deadline of November 30 to report back on the availability of witnesses.
“It was agreed that the investigating officer would require at least 30 days to conduct an initial assessment, prior to reverting to the NPA on the availability of the witnesses and any factor(s) which may or may not impact on the feasibility of the re-enrolment of the matter,” Mfaku said.
The DA, which for nine years has been fighting for Zuma to have his day in court, has also been given the opportunity to make representations.
The NPA has also asked Willie Hofmeyr, who was Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions at the time, to respond to the scathing criticism of his actions in the decision to drop the charges.
Hofmeyr, who was a key player in Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges, had deposed an affidavit on behalf of the NPA in the legal challenge. —News24