Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted - NPA boss Shaun Abrahams
Shaun Abrahams announced on Friday that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would be reinstating 16 charges, which include fraud and corruption, against former president Jacob Zuma.
"I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Zuma in the charges listed in the indictment," Abrahams said.
The charges relate to a R30-billion government arms deal in the late 1990s. They were filed but then dropped by the NPA shortly before Zuma ran for president in 2009.
Zuma — then deputy president — was linked to the deal through Schabir Shaik, his former financial adviser who was jailed for corruption.
Shaik’s conviction almost torpedoed Zuma’s bid for president but the charges against him were dropped on a technicality in 2009.
The High Court reinstated the charges in 2016 and the Supreme Court upheld that decision last year, rejecting an appeal by Zuma and describing the NPA’s initial decision to set aside the charges as “irrational“.
Phephelaphi Dube, the director for the Centre of Constitutional Rights, told Times Selectthere was a good chance of a successful prosecution as Shaik had already been successfully prosecuted on the same evidence.
“But on the other hand, we need to bear in mind the passage of time that would suggest that some the evidence may not be available,” Dube said.
On the strength of a forensic report by KPMG, Shaik was found guilty of fraud in 2005 and sentenced to 15 years, while Zuma walked away unscathed.
Shaik was released on medical parole in March 2009, after serving just over two years of his 15-year sentence. He was convicted on two counts of corruption and one of fraud, relating to his facilitation of a bribe, allegedly by French arms company Thint, to Zuma.
This is a developing story.