President Jacob Zuma has come to the defense of the controversial director of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Shaun Abrahams, as calls for him to step down from office continue to grow.
While responding to a written Parliamentary questions submitted by the leaders of the Congress of the People (COPE), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters, Zuma said Abrahams is fit and the right person to be the National Director of the Public Prosecutions.
COPE leader Lekota Mosiuoa had wanted to know if the manner in which Abrahams justified the decision – taken by former NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe – to drop corruption charges against Zuma in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) last month warranted dismissing him.
Zuma answered that he doesn’t intend to fire the controversial prosecutor as it would be “irrational” and “unconstitutional” to do so.
In addition, he pointed out that there’s nothing in the SCA’s judgment that suggests Abrahams isn’t fit to be the head of the NPA.
“The conditions of service of the National Director of Public Prosecutions are regulated by the National Prosecuting Authority Act No. 32 of 1998.
“Further, there is nothing in the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal to suggest that Advocate Shaun Abrahams is not fit and proper to be the National Director of the Public Prosecutions.
“It will, therefore, be irrational and unconstitutional of me to suspend Advocate Abrahams based on the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal,” the president replied.
In a related question, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, asked Zuma whether he now intends making representations to the NPA on the 783 counts of fraud he is facing before the November 30 deadline.
The president simply answered that the matter is currently before the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and that he’s currently taking legal advice on the matter.
Recall that in October this year, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed the NPA and Zuma’s appeal against a 2016 decision by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that found former NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision had been irrational.
While the opposition expressed satisfaction with the SCA’s judgment, the presidency, at the time, said it was disappointed with the SCA’s decision.
It is now up to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to make a “legitimate” decision on whether or not to prosecute President Jacob Zuma for the crimes he allegedly committed.
From virtually the moment President Zuma appointed Shaun Abrahams to be the NDPP position, the only question that mattered was “What would he do when the time comes to prosecute the man who had appointed him?”
Well, now that it lies in his hands to either prosecute or dismiss the 783 charges against the president, time will tell if he would be fair or not.