Church leaders to hold welcoming home prayers for Zuma

The National Interfaith Council of South Africa, in partnership with the Commission for Religious Affairs, is expected to hold welcoming home prayers for former president Jacob Zuma on Thursday.

The event will take place at the Mnyakana Sportsground in Zuma’s hometown of Nkandla.

“The church leaders are of the view that it’s imperative to thank God for securing former president Zuma during his tenure as the president of the ANC and the country,” the National Interfaith Council of South Africa and the Commission for Religious Affairs said in a statement.

“The welcoming back home prayer organised for former president Zuma also set to thank him for the role he played as the champion of radical socio-economic transformation in the country.”

Zuma served as the country’s president between 2009 and 2018.

He resigned on February 14.

“I have… come to the decision to resign as the president of the republic with immediate effect,” Zuma said at the time.

His tenure as president was riddled with accusations of corruption and his links to the controversial Gupta family clouded his term.

In a recent case, Zuma appeared in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban recently over 16 charges relating to 783 payments which he allegedly received in connection with the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.

News24 previously reported that the case against Zuma had spanned several years, with Patricia de Lille ― now DA mayor of Cape Town, but then a PAC MP ― first telling Parliament in 1999 that the multibillion-rand arms deal could be suspect.

Since then, the matter has been kicked back and forth between the courts.

Reasonable prospect of successful prosecution

On April 6, 2009, then-National Prosecuting Authority 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.

The two were recorded discussing the timing of bringing charges against Zuma. The charges related to his alleged involvement in the arms deal.

According to the NPA, the conversations provided evidence of collusion against Zuma between former NPA officials and former president Thabo Mbeki. The charges were subsequently withdrawn, just before Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.

However, in 2016, the North Gauteng High Court found that there was no reason for the NPA not to proceed with the prosecution.

Zuma and the NPA appealed this decision in the Supreme Court of Appeal. The court dismissed the appeal in October last year.

This came after Zuma and the NPA made an about-turn and admitted that the decision not to prosecute him was irrational.

NPA boss Shaun Abrahams had to review the original charges and decide whether to go ahead with the case.

On March 16, Abrahams announced that the NPA had decided to prosecute because it believed there was a reasonable prospect of successful prosecution. — News24

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