SA President Jacob Zuma

Johannesburg - The DA says it feels vindicated for its decision to challenge the dropping of charges against former president Jacob Zuma.  

The party began to fight the decision made by former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe back in 2009, and nine years later Zuma will be facing his day in court. 

NPA head Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma faced 16 charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering related to the arms deal. 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said there should be no further delay in the case and the party was prepared to oppose any attempt to delay the trial.  

Maimane said the party would also fight to ensure that Zuma does not use taxpayers’ money to pay for his legal bills. 

On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that the state had already spent R15.3 million paying for Zuma's legal bill related to the spy tapes matter. 

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"We will brief our legal teams immediately to oppose any effort by Zuma to delay this any further, including his application for a stay of prosecution. We will also fight to ensure the public do not have to carry the costs of Zuma's defence, as they have already done for the past 9 years," said Maimane. 

"I thank all of the legal teams who have waged this ‘lawfare’ over the years. Their effort and dedication has defeated Zuma’s endless delay tactics."

The charges that Zuma faces relate to a R30 billion arms deal issued in 1990s. 

Zuma was accused of receiving 783 payments through his former advisior Schabir Shaik. 

The DA believes Shaik’s case and that of Zuma should have never been separated.

“Shaik and Zuma’s trials should never have been separated in the first place and the decision to reinstate the charges should not have been a difficult one. Zuma’s day in court is years overdue and the NPA’s prosecutions team have said that there was a strong case on the merits and the only reason charges were dropped was because of the infamous Spy Tapes,” said Maimane.

The EFF has also welcomed the decision, saying that no is above the law. 

"The prosecution of Zuma will send a strong message to all kleptomaniacs within and outside government that they can never loot the state and not meet the consequences thereof," said the EFF. 

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