NEWS
27/02/2018 06:33 SAST | Updated 27/02/2018 06:33 SAST

Will Zuma Be Prosecuted? We'll Know By March 15

Shaun Abrahams has decided whether or not to prosecute Zuma, and will announce his decision by mid-March.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
National Director of Public Prosecutions,Shaun Abrahams speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, May 23, 2016.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams has decided whether or not former president Jacob Zuma will face corruption charges in court, and the public will find out in about the middle of March, Business Day reported.

On Monday, Abrahams reportedly said he had made his decision, but told the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) two weeks' notice before announcing his decision.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku told Business Day that if Casac waives this notice period, the decision may be announced sooner, but this is after all the parties involved have been notified. Zuma and the other parties have not been notified at this stage, he said.

Last Friday, the team of prosecutors assembled by Abrahams to assist him in making his decision reportedly handed the prosecutions boss their decision. The team, which includes advocate Billy Downer who was involved in the initial case against Zuma, is rumoured to have recommended that the case against Zuma goes ahead.

Zuma's lawyer, Michael Hulley, confirmed that he had not been notified of what the NPA's decision is.

City Press reported that, according to sources, the team assembled by Abrahams believes Zuma should be prosecuted on 18 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering stemming from 783 payments he received, allegedly as bribes.

The team has reportedly been working around the clock compiling an indictment against Zuma.

"There is no turning back. Zuma has to have his day in court. I cannot imagine Abrahams ignoring the recommendations of five prosecutors he appointed to guide him with this decision," an NPA source told City Press.

In December, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Abrahams needed to be removed, as his appointment was unlawful because the removal of his predecessor, Mxolisi Nxasana, was not lawful.

The court also ruled that Cyril Ramaphosa, then deputy president, had to appoint the new NDPP because then-president Zuma was too compromised to do so. This was because the NDPP had to decide on whether to pursue charges against him.

Zuma wanted to appeal that decision before he resigned as president, and last week, Ramaphosa announced that he would not be appealing it. The matter was due to be heard in the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

TheSouthAfrican.com explains that Casac asked for a two-week notice period because of Abraham's precarious situation, as a result of the appeal. If the High Court ruling is upheld and he has to step down, it could muddy the waters.