CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa should show leadership and appoint a new national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) to replace Shaun Abrahams, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The DA noted remarks in the media attributed to the NPA regarding charges to be laid imminently against former president Jacob Zuma. Zuma faced 783 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering, and money-laundering and the NPA was reportedly lining up 200 witnesses to testify against him. "The DA cautiously welcomes this news," DA federal council chairman James Selfe said.

The process to charge Zuma had been painfully slow as he had used his position as president to frustrate and delay these proceedings, "aided and abetted" by Abrahams, he said.

"Since assuming office, Abrahams has not acted with the required urgency to make sure Zuma has his day in court. In November last year, the NPA set a deadline for Zuma to provide representations explaining why he should not be charged. He failed to meet this deadline and was instead granted a seven-week extension. Abrahams has demonstrated that he simply cannot be trusted to oversee this process.

"If the NPA is indeed committed to finally charging and prosecuting Mr Zuma, it follows that it must abandon the appeal against the North Gauteng High Court decision which found that the appointment of adv Abrahams was invalid," Selfe said.

The court held that then-president Zuma was too conflicted to appoint a new NDPP and that this appointment should be done by the then deputy president. As Zuma was no longer president, the DA believed that both appeals were now moot and that President Cyril Ramaphosa should show leadership and appoint a new NDPP.

"This is the only way to restore public confidence in the NPA and to lend integrity to the process to charge Zuma. In the new spirit of inclusivity promised by President Ramaphosa, he should involve a parliamentary committee in the appointment of a new NDPP, as this will go a long way to dispel the public cynicism that NDPP's are appointed for political purposes and that they are not people who can apply the law without fear or favour," Selfe said.

African News Agency/ANA