Casac asks NPA boss to assure Zuma charges won’t be dropped

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NxasanaThe Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) has asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions’ (NDPP) Advocate Shaun Abrahams to assure them that he will not withdraw charges against President Jacob Zuma until a Constitutional Court ruling has been made.

The charges against the president include fraud, corruption and racketeering.

A deadline extension granted by the NDPP, allows President Jacob Zuma to make his representations related to the 18 corruption-related charges to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by the end of January 2018.

Lawson Naidoo told News24 that he hopes Abrahams will refrain from making any withdrawal decisions, and not act contrary to a ruling by the Constitutional Court on December 15 stating that an order of constitutional invalidity is of no force until it has been confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

A court found that Abrahams’ appointment is in dispute, freezing all his decision-making powers on withdrawing the charges against the president until the validity of his appointment by Zuma has been clarified.

Golden handshake

Last Friday, December 15, the North Gauteng High Court’s Judge Dunstan Mlambo ruled that Abrahams’ appointment was questionable as Zuma selected him while he had a plethora of criminal charges against him.

The court gave deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa two months to appoint a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after it declared the post vacant.

“In our view, President Zuma would clearly be conflicted in having to appoint a NDPP, given the background to which we have referred, particularly the ever-present spectre of the many criminal charges against him that have not gone away,” said Mlambo.

Casac, along with other parties, had gone to court to question the golden handshake and ultimate invalid removal of former NDPP, Mxolisi Nxasana in 2015.

“In setting aside the unlawful settlement agreement with Mr Mxolisi Nxasana, the High Court also set aside the appointment of Adv Abrahams, pending the appointment of a permanent NDPP. The directions also state that any party wishing to oppose CASAC’s application must do so by 19 January 2018,” read a statement from Casac.

Pushing Abrahams into a corner, the council has said that they will apply for an interdict at Abrahams’ personal cost if he goes ahead with a decision without notifying them.

Should Abrahams go ahead with a decision to withdraw the charges, Casac must be given two weeks’ notice, read the statement. Abrahams has been given until January 5 2018 to give Casac this assurance.

The NPA’s spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku was not immediately available for comment.