It is President Zuma’s unlucky Friday the 13th

President Jacob Zuma

It is unlucky Friday the 13th for President Jacob Zuma. The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled on the protracted so-called spy tapes saga. The Cape Messenger editor reports that the president is finally going to be forced to face 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering. Subject to prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams taking Zuma to court, this could be Lucky Friday for South Africa.

Friday the 13th is not a lucky day for President Jacob Zuma. He will now have to face 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering – which he has been dodging for years.

At a press conference in Pretoria, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said that after almost a decade of “ducking and diving”, and squandering millions of rands of public money on his own legal fees, President Jacob Zuma will now face 783 charges.” He described this as effectively “stealing the people’s money”.

While the eNCA tried to interview ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe – he refused to comment on the judgment – Maimane said that the judgement was “a win for justice, the rule of law and for South Africa”. He said the law applied to all “regardless of status”.

Ahead of time, Maimane had been optimistic about a legal breakthrough, Maimane said: “While this legal battle to hold President Zuma accountable for the 783 charges against him has been ongoing for close to a decade now, we trust that the judgment brings us a step closer to ensuring justice can run its course.”

The Supreme Court of appeal dismissed an appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority and President Jacob Zuma against a high court order. This has set aside the decision to withdraw charges against the president.

Significantly ANN7, a mouthpiece of the Zupta clan in government, was demure about the judgment. Gone were the screaming headlines that normally apply to bad news about opposition politicians and “white monopoly capital” business people.

EWN reported that the High Court in Pretoria ruled this year that the 2009 decision to withdraw the charges was irrational. It set the decision aside. This effectively reinstated the charges against the president.

EWN reported that it was found that former prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew criminal charges against Zuma in 2009 after considering the so-called spy tapes. It appears that Mpshe relied on an incorrect provision in the law.

The DA leader said that he would be writing to Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, insisting that Zuma “is served with an indictment and appears in court at the soonest available date”.

He urged Zuma not to delay the legal processes further. “Stop wasting public funds through lengthy legal appeals.”

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