NPA to announce decision on whether to charge Zuma on Friday

FILE National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams

FILE National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams

South Africa's state prosecutor Shaun Abrahams has announced that charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering will be reinstated against former president Jacob Zuma.

"After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment", the chief prosecutor said.

The charges, linked to Mr. Zuma's alleged involvement in a 1999 weapons deal, had been dropped for procedural reasons in April 2009 shortly before Mr. Zuma was elected president of Africa's most developed economy.

In September previous year, Zuma's legal team and the NPA conceded before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein that the decision to drop the charges in 2009 was irrational.

Chief Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said he had notified the president, who was replaced as leader of the ruling ANC party in December 2017, in writing.

In 2005 Mr Zuma's former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was convicted for facilitating bribes over the contracts and sentenced to 15 years in prison but was later released on medical grounds.

European Union contributes €82 million in support for UNRWA
He said the agency went into 2018 with a $146 million shortfall that ballooned to $446 million without the anticipated USA funds. The US had been UNWRA's largest donor, supplying almost 30 percent of its budget.

The charges - which Zuma denies - include counts of fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Analysts say Zuma will do nothing but go down without a fierce fight. "That accountability starts now". At the time, Zuma, who has always maintained his innocence, was forced to resign as deputy president by President Thabo Mbeki.

A team of five top prosecutors‚ led by Noko‚ would take charge of the prosecution against the former president.

The High Court had reinstated the charges in 2016 and the Supreme Court upheld the decision last year‚ rejecting an appeal by Zuma.

"Today we must celebrate that we are a step closer for Zuma to get to court". An inquiry on the influence-peddling allegations is due to start soon.

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