President Jacob Zuma once again used the late hours of the night to make a major move – this time submitting representations to the National Prosecuting Authority on why he should not face fraud and corruption charges – with less than three hours to go before the deadline expired.
According to the NPA‚ Zuma made the submissions shortly after 9pm.
Further details were not provided.
The president had previously been given until November to make the submission‚ but National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams extended this to the end of January – effectively midnight yesterday.
The submission comes amid a climate of increasing political pressure on ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa – from inside and outside the party – to remove Zuma from office.
There were also calls yesterday from opposition parties to postpone the state of the nation address‚ which is scheduled for next week‚ as they felt Zuma was not fit to deliver it.
There was also a new bid by the EFF for a motion of no confidence in Zuma before the February 8 address.
Zuma is further set to face a fierce battle on another front‚ with the state capture inquiry looming.
He has yet to promulgate regulations to allow the inquiry‚ headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo‚ to begin its work.
The DA has written to Abrahams asking that he provide the party with a copy of Zuma’s submission.
“The DA is entitled to Zuma’s full submission as the main litigant in this case‚ which has dragged on for almost a decade and cost ordinary South Africans an estimated R30-million or more in legal fees‚” federal executive chairman James Selfe said.
“The DA will engage thoroughly with the contents and continue to ensure that Zuma has his day in court‚ like any other citizen faced with the same charges would.”
In a letter from its lawyers‚ the DA asked Abrahams to give the party 14 calendar days to comment on Zuma’s representations.
The party has made its own representations to the NPA.
Controversial KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Moipone Noko is leading the NPA team that is considering Zuma’s representations.
Noko and her team‚ once they have considered the representations‚ will make recommendations to Abrahams on whether Zuma should face charges.
In October, following an 11thhour concession by Zuma’s lawyers‚ the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed a bid by the president and the NPA to overturn a Pretoria High Court judgment.
The high court had found that the 2009 decision to drop the charges against Zuma was irrational and should be reinstated.
Abrahams’s future is also on the line after the high court in December set aside his appointment.
The court found Zuma was too conflicted to appoint a NDPP and it should be done by Ramaphosa.
Zuma‚ the NPA and Abrahams are appealing against the ruling in the Constitutional Court.
– Business Day