Zuma considering challenging NPA over prosecution decision, says his lawyer


JOHANNESBURG, March 18 – Former president Jacob Zuma is considering taking the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to prosecute him on review, his lawyer Michael Hulley said on Saturday.

On Friday afternoon, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma would go on trial on fraud, racketeering, corruption, and money laundering charges.

All 16 counts in the 2007 indictment, before then acting NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges against Zuma in 2009, would be reinstated. The counts included one of racketeering, two of corruption, one of money laundering, and 12 of fraud.

In a brief statement on Saturday, Hulley said, “We are giving consideration to the one page and somewhat terse response received from the [NDPP] wherein he advised that the representations made on behalf of Mr Jacob Zuma are unsuccessful”.

“The rationale for this decision is not clearly apparent from the communication, nor is the basis for the refusal. In the circumstances, the likely course of action would be to take the decision of the NDPP on review. This decision will, however, only be made after careful consideration and consultation with Mr Zuma,” Hulley said.

Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Friday, Abrahams said that after consideration of the matter he believed there were reasonable prospects to successfully prosecute Zuma on charges listed in the indictment served on him prior to the determination of the matter by Mpshe.

“As a result, Mr Zuma’s representations are unsuccessful,” Abrahams said. In his submission to the NPA, Zuma had strongly disputed the allegations against him, insisting that he “lacked the requisite intention to commit any crimes listed in the indictment”.

“Mr Zuma’s representations, broadly speaking, largely relate to allegations of a prosecution characterised by prosecutorial manipulation, impropriety, fair trial abuses, prosecutorial misconduct, deliberate leaking of information to the media, and irrational decisions made by various national directors and/or acting national directors of public prosecutions, along with inexplicable delays for approximately 15 years in bringing his matter to trial,” Abrahams said.

“These allegations Mr Zuma firmly places at the door of the National Prosecuting Authority, some former national directors of public prosecutions, acting national directors, some in leadership of the NPA, and some prosecutors and investigators,” Abrahams said.

The case against Zuma was withdrawn in 2009, paving the way for him to become president. Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal refused Zuma’s appeal of a high court ruling which declared as irrational the decision to drop the charges.