In a case with as much public interest as one involving Jacob Zuma, you’d think that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would have got all their paperwork in order. Alas, this didn’t seem to be the case last week.
There was an air of confusion when it was revealed that the legal organisation had missed the deadline to file their papers against the former president, based on the charges of corruption he is facing. Lawyers for JZ even blasted the NPA for “not knowing their case”, despite having a decade to prepare for it.
However, the department has since hit back, rejecting claims that they are unprepared to face Zuma in court. They went on the offensive on Monday, explaining what exactly lead to this bizarre slip-up.
The missed deadline against Jacob Zuma
The NPA had until Friday 1 March to file their arguments against Jacob Zuma and his legal team. They ended up having to apply for an extension to the deadline, which was granted for next Monday.
What case was this for?
It’s for the ongoing corruption trial that Zuma has managed to successfully delay for the best part of a year, now. The case refers to the illicit arms deal he and Schabir Shaik tried to broker during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Msholozi has managed to evade accountability for his role time and time again, but the NPA – under Shaun Abrahams at the time – ruled that he must take to the stand in March 2018. The case resumes on 20 May 2019, where lawmakers must decide if there is a chance of prosecution.
NPA explain why they didn’t file in time
Natasha Kara is a representative for the organisation. She told EWN that prosecutors had previously written to Zuma and arms firm Thales asking for a filing deadline extension. She blamed the “voluminous nature” of papers filed by the defence but confirmed the state would be ready to make their final submissions by next week.
Here’s what happens next for the Jacob Zuma case
Monday 11 March is when the NPA will handover their paperwork to the courts. The legal team representing Jacob Zuma will then file their reply through “answering papers” – detailing their heads of response in the process.
We then head back to court in Pietermaritzburg from Monday 20 May to Thursday 23 May. This is when both the state and the defence will argue their case ahead of it being submitted for judgement.
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