LISTEN: Political parties react to Zuma prosecution

LISTEN: Political parties react to Zuma prosecution

Opposition parties have welcomed the decision by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams to reinstate corruption charges against former president Jacob Zuma.

Jacob Zuma
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Abrahams made the announcement in Pretoria on Friday. 

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane, whose party has been fighting a protracted legal battle to ensure Zuma has his day in court, said it important that the former president is held accountable for his actions.

"This matter has dragged on for nine years and finally Mr Zuma will be able to have his day in court. And we will also continue to fight that the state does not continue to fund his legal fees. 

"And ensure and call upon that this matter be prosecuted speedily and effectively so as to ensure that accountability takes place."

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it hopes the decision will send a message to all those who are looting state coffers. 

"It is important to state that nobody, not even former presidents, are above the law. The principle of equality before the law means we must all be equally held accountable for the deeds deemed illegal, regardless of our social and political standing. The prosecution of Zuma will send a strong message to all kleptomaniacs within and outside the government that they can never loot the state and not meet the consequences thereof," said the party's spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson Pule Mabe said the decision reaffirms the party's confidence in the criminal justice system and the independence of the judiciary. 

"We call on South Africans at large to afford the NPA space to conduct its work unhindered, we continue to assert the inalienable right of all in our country, including comrade Jacob Zuma, to be presumed innocent until and if proven guilty."

The charges in question relate to the Arms Deal, which was concluded in 1999.

Zuma will face one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and twelve counts of fraud.

In 2005, Zuma's financial advisor, Schabir Shaik was jailed on related charges.

Since then, a series of court battles has been fought over whether the charges against Zuma could or should be pursued.

In October last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the charges could be brought.

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