Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has dismissed allegations of incompetence and susceptibility to political influence following its decision to provisionally withdraw corruption charges against Duduzane Zuma.
On Thursday, Zuma appeared briefly at the Special Commercial Crimes Court in Joburg where he faced allegations of corruption relating to the alleged bribery attempt by the Guptas of former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, in which Jonas claimed he was offered a ministerial post.
NPA regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the decision behind the provisional withdrawal of the case was to allow the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture to finalise its work, where Jonas - its key witness - has testified on the same allegations.
“The prosecutors prosecuting this matter felt that it was necessary to wait for that process, not necessarily meaning every prosecutor will then decide that if somebody is in front of the state capture commission then a criminal case cannot proceed. But in this instance the prosecutors deemed it necessary to wait for that process,” Mjonondwane said.
Jonas told the commission that Zuma had organised and attended a meeting at the Guptas’ compound in Saxonwold, Joburg, where Ajay Gupta offered him the post of finance minister, as well as a R600million payment and R600 000 in cash if he agreed to work with the Guptas and protect their business interests. This was months before former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was fired by former president Jacob Zuma in December 2015.
On Thursday, Duduzane’s lawyer Rudi Krause slammed the NPA, accusing it of rushing to arrest him and charging him when it knew it had no case against him.
“This is incompetence and victimisation,” Krause said.