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SAFTU condemns Abrahams’ extension to Jacob Zuma and demands that he be put on trial now like all other suspects

The South African Federation of Trade Unions has repeatedly warned that South Africa is being turned into a capitalist kleptocracy that will be governed by the principle that there will be no accountability.

In our view the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, confirms how far down the line we have travelled to arrive at a predatory state.

We are not aware of any case where someone facing 783 cases of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering has been given three months to make representations. We challenge Advocate Abrahams to produce a list of other suspected criminals who have been given a chance to make such representations.

All this decision is doing is to confirm that we have moved away from the Freedom Charter and the Constitution that emphatically state that all shall be equal before the law.

In this case we are quite clearly back to the era of the Animal Farm, in which Zuma is more equal than other South Africans just like the pigs declared that they are more equal than other animals in the farm. The damage this is doing to how country sees justice cannot be described in words.

More worryingly Abrahams’ very appointment has been reversed by a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court. That case again represented a defeat of President’s Zuma’s zeal to domesticate state institutions as he packs all of them with his yes-men and women as part of the elaborate plan to frustrate justice,

Secondly, the Supreme Court of Appeal recently upheld the ruling of the North Gauteng High Court that Advocate Mpshe’s decision to drop these charges was irrational, and the SCA further made the point that:

“… the conclusion of the court below, that the decision to terminate the prosecution was irrational, cannot be faulted.

(xii) In reviewing his own decision to institute criminal proceedings against Mr Zuma, and ultimately making the decision to terminate the prosecution, Mr Mpshe wrongly invoked and relied on s 179(5)(d) of the Constitution and s 22(2)(c) of the NPA Act. These provisions deal with the review by an NDPP of a decision of a DPP and were inapposite. Thus, the concessions on behalf of Mr Zuma and the NPA that, on that basis, the decision to terminate the prosecution was liable to be set aside, were rightly made.

(xiii) In light of what appears above, it is difficult to understand why the present regime at the NPA considered that the decision to terminate the prosecution could be defended.”

SAFTU further condemn the lame excuses given by the head of the National Prosecuting Authority which imply either a complete failure on his part to appreciate the seriousness and urgency of the matter before the court, or, more likely, a political ruse to protect his political ally. His reasons include that:

    • His lawyers were unavailable until mid-December due to “prior litigation commitments”;
    • The case is “complex and voluminous”;
    • There have been developments in the case since Zuma first made representations 8 years ago; and his team needs time to review these developments as they make representations; and
    • Zuma would be unavailable for consultation until after 20 December 2017.

That last excuse is probably the real reason for the extension. 20 December is the closing day of the ANC’s elective conference, which strongly suggests that Abrahams has a political motive – to avoid embarrassing Zuma at this important event, the outcome of which could determine his political and personal future.

SAFTU demands that the SCA rejects this extension and charges Abrahams with defeating the ends of justice or contempt of court for defying its clear ruling. He must also account for his failure to prosecute any of the others against whom there is now clear prima facie evidence of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and other financial offences.

While everyone, including Zuma, has the right to a fair trial, this must not mean that he can keep indefinitely postponing his day in court, through appeals and extensions. It is in the interest of the administration of justice and fairness to bring to court Zuma, and all those others whose corrupt activities have thrown the country into such an economic and political abyss, as soon as possible.