NPA has two weeks to decide on Zuma charges

web_photo_Jacob Zuma_25012018

FILE PHOTO: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures to his supporters at the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has two weeks to decide whether President Jacob Zuma will face fraud and corruption charges.

Zuma filed his submission on why he shouldn&39;t face the charges on Thursday night.

Zuma&39;s lawyers have handed over multiple files they believe will convince the state not to put Zuma in the dock to face corruption charges.

The NPA said the documents are so substantial that they may delay its decision on whether the President should be charged.

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Just days ago, President Jacob Zuma told a group of high school pupils that he was being arrested over Nkandla.

The President told the children: “I’m being arrested for building my house. That’s what I’m being arrested for.”

The corruption indictment served on Zuma after he was elected ANC President in 2007 shows that his comments are not that far from the truth.

He faces charges of racketeering, fraud, tax evasion and corruption over R4-million he received from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik, including an alleged R500,000 bribe from French arms company Thales, which the state says he needed to fund his Nkandla renovations.

Zuma now has one last chance to convince National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) head, Shaun Abrahams that there are grounds for why he should not be prosecuted for these alleged crimes.

According to Luvuyo Mfaku, NPA Spokesperson: “Having seen the magnitude of the representations, we firmly believe that our projections in terms of the finalisation of the matter was actually highly ambitious.”

Mfaku said Abrahams would be guided by the team of prosecutors advising him on the Zuma case – including the President’s former prosecutor Billy Downer – before announcing the new deadline for his decision.

He also said Abrahams was determined to make a decision that would stand up to potential appeals.

The Presidency has already made it clear that Zuma will raise concerns over the state’s KPMG audit into his financial affairs, compiled by Johan van der Walt.

He was the same investigator who wrote the discredited SARS Rogue Unit report, which spawned the aborted prosecution of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The NPA stressed that Zuma’s representations are confidential, but saID the state would be guided by previous Zuma prosecution rulings in deciding whether they can be released and in what form.