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Zuma to be prosecuted in Shaik matter - Shaun Abrahams

NDPP says Zuma complained in his representations of political manipulation and inexplicable delays

Reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution of Zuma - Shaun Abrahams

Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority says it believes it can successfully prosecute former president Jacob Zuma.

Embattled NPA boss Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma will be prosecuted for one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

"After consideration of the matter, I'm of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Mr Zuma," Abrahams told reporters in Pretoria on Friday.

Abrahams said Zuma's representations largely related to allegations of prosecutoral manipulation, impropriety, fair trial abuses, prosecutoral misconduct and the deliberate leaking of information to the media.

Zuma also pointed out that there were inexplicable delays in bringing the matter to trial.

"Mr Zuma, in addition, disputes all the allegations against him and records that he lacked the requisite intention to commit any of the crimes listed in the indictment.

"I am mindful that everyone is equal before the law and enjoys the rights to equal protection and benefit of the law. Similarly, the NPA, in executing it's constitutional and legal mandate, will ensure that alleged perpetrators of crime will be prosecuted without fear, favour of prejudice, irrespective of their station in life."

The charges relate to 783 questionable payments Zuma allegedly received in connection with the controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal.

Abrahams said he notified Zuma of his decision earlier in the day.

Former NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the charges in 2009, based on the recordings of the so-called "spy tapes", which were presented to him by Zuma's legal team.

The tapes were made up of recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka, which Zuma's legal team claimed showed political interference in the decision to charge him.

The charges were subsequently withdrawn, just before Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.

In 2017 the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma's and the NPA's appeal to a high court ruling that the dropping of the corruption charges against him by Mpshe was "irrational".

News24

Update:

Schabir Schaik on THOSE Zuma charges

Durban – One-time financial advisor to former president Jacob Zuma, Schabir Shaik, was tight-lipped on the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA's) decision to prosecute Zuma on corruption charges.

"I think the law must take its course. I have no further comment," he told News24 during a brief phone call on Friday.

Shaik was released on medical parole on March 3, 2009, after serving just more than two years of a 15-year sentence for corruption.

He was convicted of two counts of corruption and one of fraud, relating to his facilitation of a bribe, allegedly by a French arms company to Zuma.

The NPA on Friday announced that Zuma would face 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

The charges relate to 783 questionable payments Zuma allegedly received in connection with the controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal.

During his trial, Shaik argued that payments he had made to Zuma, totalling more than R1.2m, were made out of friendship and camaraderie.

His defence advocate Francois van Zyl, SC, told the court at the time that Shaik assisted him toward the end of the 90s.

"The payments to Zuma started during 1997 in an attempt by (Shaik) to assist Zuma to get out of the debt trap in which he found himself," Van Zyl had told Judge Hilary Squires.

"Later, the assistance was primarily aimed at the education of Zuma's children. Not a single payment was linked to any specific act by Zuma in the interests of (Shaik) or any of his companies."

Van Zyl said a long-standing friendship developed between the two men during the anti-apartheid struggle years.

"The concept of a loan, often between friends, where the borrower is required to pay back when he is in a financial position to do so, is well-known in our law," he had said at the time.

Shaik's medical parole has also come into question since it began.

In 2011, a Sunday Tribune journalist was allegedly throttled and slapped by Shaik when working on a story about him playing golf while on parole.

A complaint was laid, but there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

A few weeks later, Shaik was accused of assault at a mosque after he allegedly slapped and punched a man after an argument about parking. Nothing came of the incident.

News24