The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes today’s announcement by the current (albeit it embattled) head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Adv Shaun Abrahams, to reinstate the charges of corruption, money laundering, racketeering and fraud against former President Jacob Zuma. This brings to an end a decade of litigation over the initial NPA decision in 2009 to withdraw the charges levelled against former President Zuma. Given the uninspiring record of the NPA in the prosecution of politically-connected individuals, there is perhaps need for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, with the overwhelming public interest and the presence of a vociferous and robust civil society and the possibility of private prosecution, it is hoped that the NPA will be true to its constitutional mandate of prosecuting without fear, favour or prejudice.
While the successful prosecution of highly-connected political figures will go some way towards assuaging the angst-ridden South African public, it is still not enough to fully restore confidence in this vital institution. More than that, the NPA needs to make good on its word concerning the investigations into State Capture. Perhaps that will be the catalyst for the NPA towards reclaiming their constitutionally-appointed role as an institution that upholds justice and the Rule of Law.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
16 March 2018