Mokotedi Mpshe‚ the ex director of public prosecution who chose to pull back charges against President Jacob Zuma in April 2009 said on Friday that he was persuaded that his choice was right at the time.
Addressing Radio 702 not long after the officeholder DPP Shaun Abrahams reported that Zuma would get his day in court‚ Mpshe said he didn’t lament his decision. Mokotedi Mpshe‚ the previous chief of open arraignments who chose to pull back charges against President Jacob Zuma in April 2009 said on Friday that he was persuaded that his choice was right at the time.
“I was convinced at that stage that my decision was the appropriate decision and I still stand by my decision which I made then” Mpshe told Stephen Grootes.
“The fact that it has been reversed does not make me a bad person at all. Decisions get reversed. I cannot take any responsibility for what is happening now‚” he said.
The High Court had reinstated the charges in 2016 and the Supreme Court upheld that decision last year‚ rejecting an appeal by Zuma. The High Court described Mpshe’s decision to withdraw the charges as irrational.
Abrahams on Friday afternoon announced that a court of law was the most suited to deal with the charges against Zuma.
“I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Zuma in the charges listed in the indictment‚” Abrahams said.
Zuma faces 16 charges‚ involving 783 incidents. He faces one count of racketeering‚ two of corruption‚ one of money laundering and 12 of fraud.
The charges relate to a R30-billion government arms deal in the late 1990s. They were filed but then dropped by the NPA shortly before Zuma ran for president in 2009.
Zuma — then deputy president — was linked to the deal through Schabir Shaik‚ his former financial adviser who was jailed for corruption.
Shaik’s conviction almost torpedoed Zuma’s bid for president but the charges against him were dropped on a technicality in 2009.