'Drop all charges against Zuma'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to do the "honourable thing and drop all the charges" against new ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was overwhelmingly elected as the party's new president on Tuesday in Polokwane.

Cosatu's provincial secretary Zet Luzipho said the NPA has no alternative but to drop all the charges against Zuma "because they failed" when delegates elected him on Tuesday.

"The NPA has discredited itself and it's high time they step aside and allow Zuma to carry on the mandate given by delegates.

"They have taken us for a ride for a long time. They have dismally failed to play their role as an independent body. We believe no one can trust them anymore," said Luzipho.

He said the fact that former head of the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Vusi Pikoli, was fired because of an "irretrievable breakdown in his working relationship" with Brigitte Mabandla was a clear indication that the NPA were not an independent body, but were taking instructions from "above".

He said "when President Mbeki fired Pikoli, he was continuing with his tendency of getting rid of strong-willed individuals whom he considered to be challenging his authority".

"Before that he fired former health deputy-minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge for a breakdown in her working relationship with her superior, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

"It is obvious that the person who was dictating terms within the NPA has lost against Zuma. They should just step aside and allow him to lead the country," said Luzipho.

Zakhele Ndlovu, a University of KwaZulu-Natal analyst, said he believed the dropping of charges might create the wrong impression that Zuma is above the law. He said it was important for the country to be seen to be respecting the law.