The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) plans to proceed with criminal charges against former deputy president Jacob Zuma, spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi said on Monday.

"This afternoon advocate (Vusi) Pikoli informed (former) deputy president (Jacob) Zuma that he has decided to bring criminal charges against his person. Such charges will be constituted by, among others, two counts of corruption.

"Mr Zuma will in due course be informed of the date, time and place where he will have to avail himself at court to face these charges," Nkosi said.

Zuma would not be physically arrested but would be ordered to appear in court later this week in Durban.

The charges were informed by Judge Hilary Squires's finding that Durban businessman Schabir Shaik was guilty on charges of fraud and corruption. Shaik acted as Zuma's financial adviser.

Last week President Thabo Mbeki announced that Zuma had been "released" from his post of Deputy President.

In a prepared statement Nkosi said: "Justice Squires made adverse remarks on the nature of the relationship between Shaik and Zuma. The NPA has concluded its study of the judgment and taken into consideration aspects of it that relate to former deputy president Zuma.

"An application for leave to appeal by Shaik and others, and its likely impact on the merits of the case against Zuma were taken into consideration.

"Taking into consideration all evidence at its disposal, the NPA is of the view that there is a reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution."

The matter had been thoroughly discussed between NPA head advocate Vusi Pikoli and the team that investigated and prosecuted Shaik.

The NPA took into account the interest of the public, Zuma, justice and the integrity of the country's criminal justice system, he continued.

"This matter will now be before the court and therefore subject to the sub judice rule," Nkosi said.

"We have also noted with regret speculation in the media in the past few weeks which we thought undermined the integrity of the NPA. We were especially disturbed by statements attributed to faceless people within our organisation.

"We urge the media to resist the temptation of sensationalist headlines at the expense of the integrity of the NPA and its work."

Responding to media questions, Nkosi said the prosecution was "not through pressure from anyone".

Before the start of the Shaik trial the NPA said it had enough prima facie evidence to prosecute Zuma as well but that it would not do so.

ANC spokesperson Steyn Speed said on Monday: "We have no immediate response." - Sapa