SONA 2017 Jacob Zuma

Former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted for corruption, fraud and money laundering.

NPA head Shaun Abrahams has announced that Former President Jacob Zuma will appear in court to face charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering. Despite Jacob Zuma’s legal team making representations to the NPA, Former President Jacob Zuma will stand trial with NPA head Shaun Abrahams announced that the Director of Public Prosecutions for Kwazulu Natal will handle Jacob Zuma’s prosecution.

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Read: Jacob Zuma has resigned as president of South Africa

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Speaking at a news conference on Friday, 16 March 2018, NPA head Shaun Abrahams said that the case against Former President Jacob Zuma on charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering would proceed to trial and that there were “reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution”.  

The announcement by NPA head Shaun Abrahams is the latest instalment a legal saga estimated to have cost millions of rands in legal fees. Final representations were made by Jacob Zuma’s legal team in January 2018, which NPA head Shaun Abrahams described in his media briefing as “unsuccessful”. In addition, Shaun Abrahams confirmed that he has instructed the NPA to oppose an application for permanent stay of prosecution recently filed in the Cape High Court by an NGO.

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The charges relate to Jacob Zuma’s alleged involvement in fraud, corruption and money laundering during the arms deal, while he was serving in the position of Deputy President. Jacob Zuma’s financial adviser at the time, Schabir Schaik, was jailed on corruption charges due to his role in the deal, but charges against Jacob Zuma himself were withdrawn in 2009 in what became known as the “Spy Tapes Saga”.

These charges were reinstated by the High Court in 2016 and the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2017, which described the initial decision to withdraw charges as “irrational”.