PRETORIA-- The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says its senior prosecution team handling the corruption charges case against former President Jacob Zuma is finalizing its work and is set to meet its Friday deadline to make a recommendation on whether or not to reinstate corruption charges against the former president.

Prosecutors will hand their recommendation to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shaun Abrahams, who will have the final say in the matter. From Friday the focus will be on Abrahams to make a final decision on whether or not to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma.

The matter has dragged on for nearly a decade but the NPA says Abrahams is now treating the case with real urgency. Following a Supreme Court of Appeals ruling that set aside the 2009 NPA decision to drop charges against Zuma, the former president filed fresh legal representations in January this year on why he should not face prosecution.

A team of senior NPA prosecutors was assigned to look into Zuma's fresh submissions and that team is expected to deliver its recommendation on the matter. Abrahams will make the final decision on a date yet to be announced.

Well, I think that the court judgment left him with very little room but to reinstate (charges) because if he doesn't that would create literally a suicidal professional decision for him but also a legal challenge that may actually sink him, so the likely possibility is the reinstatement, says political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni.

Dropping the initial charges against Zuma, who was ruling party African National Congress (ANC) president at the time paved the way for him to assume office of head of State. However, as a result of court challenges by the opposition, the matter kept haunting Zuma throughout his presidency.

Without the political muscle, being the leader of a political party, without the muscle of being a president of the country, he is naked in terms of facing the blows. Had he done this while in office perhaps he could have had some leg room, added Fikeni.

With the looming NPA prosecutors deadline, political analyst Professor Teffo Lesiba has called on politicians to give the NPA space. I am a bit weary when people say [President Cyril] Ramaphosa must make sure that the law takes its course, must make sure that [Police Minister Fikilie] Mbalula ensures that action is taken, that is exactly what we don't want, interference with State institutions.

The Zuma matter comes as Abrahams is fighting for his own survival. The High Court in Pretoria has set aside Abrahams' appointment by the very same Zuma whose fate now lies with Abrahams.


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