South Africa’s state prosecutor Shaun Abrahams has announced that charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering will be reinstated against former president Jacob Zuma.
The charges relate to a 30 billion rand ($2.5 billion) arms deal in the late 1990s, when Zuma was deputy president.
While Zuma has consistently denied the allegations, Abrahams told journalists the state has a ‘reasonable prospect of successful prosecution’.
After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on the charges of the indictment.
‘‘After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on the charges of the indictment,’‘ Abrahams said.
The decision comes after a long legal battle to reinstate the charges related to 783 payments made to Zuma by his former advisor Shabir Shaik.
Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the ruling which set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw the case against the former president.
A team of five senior state prosecutors spent four weeks studying Zuma’s reasons why he should not have his day in court after submitting them at the end of January.
Abrahams announced two weeks ago that he had received a recommendation from the team and was ready to make the announcement.
It’s understood more than 200 witnesses have already confirmed their availability to testify if Zuma’s case goes on trial.
The ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) has released a statement reacting to the reinstatement of charges against the party and country’s former president.
The statement that was tweeted said the party believes in the country’s criminal justice system, urged South Africans to accord the state prosecution space to conduct its work unhindered and reiterated Zuma’s constitutional right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.