National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams briefs the media. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams on Friday said a non-governmental organisation (NGO) was seeking a permanent stay of prosecution for the country's former president, Jacob Zuma.

"An application for the permanent stay of the prosecution of Mr Zuma has recently been filed in the Western Cape High Court by an NGO. I, along with NPA, have been cited as respondents in this matter I've instructed the State attorney to brief senior counsel to oppose this application," Abrahams announced at the end of a media briefing in which he also announced he has okayed the reinstatement of criminal charges against Zuma.

Abrahams did not name the NGO or give details about the matter.

The national director of the NPA, earlier said it had informed Zuma, through his lawyers, that he will face 16 counts in a court. These include one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud. 

Abrahams said in his submission to the NPA that Zuma strongly disputed the allegations against him, insisting that he "lacked the requisite intention to commit any crimes listed in the indictment".

However, the reasons Zuma gave to the NPA for not charging him again, was rejected.

"On the facts of this matter, and in the interests of transparency, the interests of the administration of justice and the interests of the National Prosecuting Authority, I am of the view that a trial court would be the most appropriate forum for these issues to be ventilated and to be decided upon.

"After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects to successfully prosecute Mr Zuma on charges listed in the indictment served on Mr Zuma prior to the determination of the matter by Mpshe, SC. As a result, Mr Zuma's representations are unsuccessful," Abrahams said.

Mokotedi Mpshe, the acting NPA head between 2007 and 2009 made the decision to drop charges against Zuma. This decision was declared irrational by a high court in 2016. Last year the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma's appeal of this high court order.

African News Agency/ANA