NPA HEAD EXTENDS ZUMA'S DEADLINE FOR REPRESENTATIONS ON CORRUPTION CHARGESDate: 2017-12-11
The head of the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa, Shaun Abrahams, has extended the deadline to 31 January 2018 for President Jacob Zuma to submit fresh representations regarding the 783 counts of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering laid against him.
On Monday NPA spokesperson, Luvuyo Mafaku confirmed to News24 that Zuma's legal team had requested an extension to February 19 in a letter to Abrahams.
Mfaku said, "He [Abrahams] refused and gave them [until] January 31. He said any further request for extensions won't be entertained.
"He considered a number of issues including the fact that the prosecution team is still evaluating evidential material… the prosecution team will be able to advise him after evaluating evidential material."
On October 13 the NPA gave Zuma and his lawyers until November 30 to make their representations, after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma and the NPA's application to appeal a High Court ruling that the decision not to prosecute the president was irrational.
The Democratic Alliance's lawyers wrote to Abrahams, compelling him to provide written confirmation that he had received fresh representations from Zuma in connection to the 783 charges related to Zuma's alleged involvement in the country's multi-billion rand arms deal.
On April 6, 2009, then NPA head, Mokotedi Mpshe, dropped the charges based on the so-called "spy tapes" presented to him by Zuma's legal team. He said recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka revealed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma. It was never established how Zuma obtained the recordings and shortly after the charges were dropped Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.
The DA, who have been fighting for Zuma to have his day in court for the past nine years, has also been given the opportunity to make representations, as well as Willie Hofmeyr, who was heavily criticised for his actions in the decision to drop the charges when he was Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions.