NPA says Zuma prosecution threat is 'intimidation'
'We will oppose all delay tactics,' says NPA in face of new challenges
Disturbed by former president and corruption accused Jacob Zuma’s threats to once again delay his pending trial, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has hit back promptly, declaring its intention to fight his effort.
Zuma’s corruption trial is set down to resume on Monday morning in the Pietermaritzburg high court after his efforts to have lead prosecutor advocate Billy Downer removed from the case failed.
“The National Prosecuting Authority has noted with concern the media statement issued by the Jacob Zuma Foundation with regards to the trial scheduled to resume on April 11 ... They accuse prosecution of delaying the case by refusing to remove Adv Downer SC and indicate that they will pursue private prosecution against him,” NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.
The statement was released shortly after a press briefing hosted by the Jacob Zuma Foundation in which it was stated that Zuma planned to have the case postponed again because he did not agree with the way the matter was unfolding.
“As the prosecution we are and have always been ready to proceed with the trial but their delaying tactics continue to stall the proceedings ... We will oppose any application for a postponement because any further delay is not in the best interests of any party,” Mhaga said.
He described Zuma’s threats to pursue a private prosecution against Downer as “another intimidating and delaying tactic on their part. They know those charges cannot be substantiated, hence the DPP KwaZulu-Natal declined to prosecute in the matter and NDPP refused to accede to their request for removal of Adv Downer.”
The case will be heard in court on Monday morning.
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