03/12/2017 06:21 SAST | Updated 03/12/2017 06:21 SAST

Maimane: NPA Must Announce Zuma's Court Date

“I am calling on Shaun Abrahams to schedule this initial appearance to take place before Christmas this year."

President Jacob Zuma
POOL New / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma

There is nothing standing in the way of the National Prosecuting Authority from proceeding with the corruption case against President Jacob Zuma, according to DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Addressing delegates at the party's North West Provincial Congress on Saturday, Maimane said the best gift South Africans could receive this festive season was an assurance that 2018 would be better than 2017 and that those responsible for the looting of the state are brought to book.

Maimane said the deadline for Zuma to make representations to the NPA regarding his 783 counts of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering had come and gone.

"Now there can be no more delaying. The NPA has to announce the date of his first court appearance," he said.

Maimane said like any charged criminal, Zuma would have to appear in court to have his charges formally put to him.

"I am calling on [NPA head] Shaun Abrahams to schedule this initial appearance to take place before Christmas this year. There is no reason why this should not happen," he said.

"In fact, any ordinary criminal would have had their charges presented in court before making any representations to the NPA. Why Jacob Zuma should be regarded as an extraordinary criminal still needs to be explained," said Maimane.

On Friday, Maimane said the party's lawyers wrote to Abrahams to compel him to provide written confirmation that he did, in fact, receive fresh representations from Zuma.

READ: DA still waiting on Zuma's new representations to NPA

Attempts to get comment from NPA spokesperson, Luvuyo Mfaku, as to whether the NPA intended to respond to the letter, were unsuccessful.

Maimane said that, according to Abrahams, all the evidence is still available for trial, and the witnesses would have been contacted by this week.

"So we are good to go. Let's have that court date then, and let's have it within the next three weeks," he said.

Maimane said South Africans deserved to head into the new year with some straight answers and a promise of swift justice.