Concourt rules NDPP Abrahams can make decision public
FORMER president Jacob Zuma will by tomorrow (Friday) know whether or not he will finally face charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering relating to the so-called spy tapes saga.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told Independent Media yesterday that Abrahams would brief both Zuma and the DA tomorrow on his decision before he makes a public announcement.
It is likely to take place early next week.
“The decision has been made. We are now ready to announce it. We will advise the parties involved about the decision and then decide on an actual date upon which to announce the decision,”Mfaku said.
Mfaku said NPA boss Shaun Abrahams was in Cape Town and that he would be making his way back to Pretoria today before he advises the affected parties.
This comes after the Constitutional Court cleared the way for Abrahams to make the much anticipated decision, a culmination of almost close to a decade fight between Zuma and the DA.
Yesterday, the apex court dismissed an urgent bid by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) to block Abrahams from announcing his decision on Zuma’s possible prosecution.
Casac’s executive secretary Lawson Naidoo confirmed that the Constitutional Court rejected their bid to block Abrahams from deciding on Zuma’s fate.
Naidoo has accused the court of not giving reasons for dismissing their court application.
“All they said was that our urgency was self-created. We still believe that it is not appropriate for Abrahams to take such a decision and we hope that he will realise that it is in best interest of the integrity of the NPA that the decision be withheld until such time as the Constitutional Court has resolved the main matter concerning the NPA,” Naidoo said.
He said Casac understood that there was no legal impediment for Abrahams to decide on Zuma’s fate.
“But we still believe that it would be improper for him to do so, given his conduct in the past. But that is now a matter for Abrahams to deal with,” he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had his hands full dealing with tough questions from the opposition MPs, led by the Economic Freedom Fighters, on what legal provision was used to foot Zuma’s legal bills.
Ramaphosa confirmed in the National Assembly yesterday R15.3 million had so far been incurred in the spy tapes case.
This excluded other cases including the report of the former public protector on Nkandla.
“We have been using the agreement that was struck by (Zuma) and the government,” said Ramaphosa.
He said a distinction had to be drawn between the spy tapes case and other cases, adding that the former president would pay back the money if he lost the case in court.
Ramaphosa said despite calls for government to scrap its deal with Zuma to fund his legal costs and pay back the money, there was an agreement signed many years ago and they would honour this arrangement.
Ramaphosa said the funding would continue until the case has been concluded.
EFF leader Julius Malema said according to their calculation Zuma’s legal bill was sitting at R64m in all the cases that have been funded by the state.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they had begun a process to get Zuma to pay back every cent from his cases.
He said they wouldn’t allow the state to keep funding him, and asked Ramaphosa to cut his losses with Zuma.
Narend Singh, of the IFP, said Judge President Dunstan Mlambo of the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, had said in his judgment in the public protector matter that Zuma had abused the legal process and ordered him to pay legal costs.
Singh said these amounted to several millions of rand.
Ramaphosa also agreed to Malema’s demand that he must report back on the law that was relied upon when the government agreed to pay his legal costs.
This was after Ramaphosa had said they had only looked at the agreement when they were preparing for the question in the Presidency. When Malema insisted that he must give them the law that was used to implement the decision, he said he would come back with an answer in a week.