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South Africa: Top court clears way for Zuma to stand trial on corruption charges

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Cape Town, South Africa, October 13 (Infosplusgabon) - The Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday rejected, with costs, President Jacob Zuma’s appeal in his long running battle to avoid prosecution on 783 charges of fraud and corruption.

 

Justice Eric Leach said the High Court’s judgment that the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma – on the eve of the 2009 election – “cannot be faulted”.

 

The scandal was sparked by leaked tapes, given to the Authority as part of Zuma’s “representations” as to why he should not be prosecuted. They contained recordings of telephone conversations between the former head of the Scorpions elite crime-fighting unit and NPA head Leonard McCarthy and the former director of public prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka.

 

They revealed that McCarthy had consulted extensively with Ngcuka about when to indict Zuma. Zuma’s camp viewed this as political interference in the case.

 

The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said Friday’s judgment was a win for justice, the rule of law, and for South Africa.

 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the charges now stood and a court of law must hear this matter.  “If the President is innocent, as he proclaims, he ought to let a trial court decide on his innocence. His actions over the last decade smack of a desperate attempt to avoid this eventuality. These are the actions of a man who knows he has a lot to answer for,” he  said.

 

Maimane said he would be writing to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, insisting that Zuma was served with an indictment and appeared in court at the soonest available date.

 

“Abrahams must give us a response within 10 days. The charges have been formulated and the evidence is ready. We now await a trial date,” he added.

 

 

 

FIN/INFOSPLUSGABON/MOI/GABON 2017

 

 

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