President Jacob Zuma File picture: Nic Bothma/EPA

Klerksdorp - There can be no further delays for the National prosecuting Authority (NPA) to announce the date of President Jacob Zuma's first court appearance relating to hundreds of charges of corruption and fraud, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

On Thursday the deadline came and went for Zuma to make representations to the NPA regarding his 783 counts of corruption, fraud, money laundering, and racketeering, Maimane told delegates at the DA's North West provincial congress just outside Klerksdorp.

"Like any charged criminal, Jacob Zuma must appear in court to have his charges formally put to him. I am calling on Shaun Abrahams [national director of public prosecutions] to schedule this initial appearance to take place before Christmas this year. There is no reason why this should not happen.

"In fact, any ordinary criminal would have had their charges presented in court before making any representations to the NPA. Why Jacob Zuma should be regarded as an extraordinary criminal still needs to be explained," he said.

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"What we do know is that according to Abrahams all the evidence is still available for trial, and the witnesses would have been contacted by this week. So we are good to go. Let’s have that court date then and let’s have it within the next three weeks. South Africans deserve to head into the new year with some straight answers and a promise of swift justice," Maimane said.

Friday was great day for democracy in South Africa, but it was a truly awful day for the African National Congress. Two separate motions of no confidence and one municipal-wide by-election later, and it had become clear that the political tide in South Africa had shifted a great deal.

In Johannesburg, the members of the metro council said an emphatic no to the ANC’s attempts to remove mayor Herman Mashaba from office. In Nelson Mandela Bay, the members of the metro council said an emphatic no to attempts to remove mayor Athol Trollip from office. And in Metsimaholo in the Free State, the people of Sasolburg, Kragbron, and Deneysville said an emphatic no to the idea of going back to an ANC government.

"We are seeing a new chapter unfolding for our country – a chapter in which the ANC will play no role. It will be written by those who want what’s best for South Africa and can work together to make it happen, he said.

"In this new chapter, there will be no place for the corrupt and the dishonest. There will be no place for presidents who serve the Guptas or for ministers who push through nuclear deals. There will be no place for fat cats in blue light convoys, like the premier of this province.

"There will be no place for public servants who run their towns into the ground but still live it up like Hollywood celebrities. People like the mayor of Madibeng, who just blew R100 000 in six months renting a luxury BMW while her municipality can’t even pay for water.

"What we saw yesterday [Friday] in Joburg, in Nelson Mandela Bay, and in Metsimaholo were signs of this new post-ANC South Africa. It’s taken a long time to get here, but the movement for change will quickly gather momentum," Maimane said.