The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is expected to provisionally withdraw corruption charges against former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
Duduzane Zuma’s lawyers have declined to comment until the court process is finalised on Thursday morning. NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane Aldo said the state would comment only after Thursday’s court proceedings. Business Day understands that the NPA sent a letter to Duduzane Zuma’s lawyers on Tuesday, notifying them of the provisional withdrawal of the charges.
The exact reason for that withdrawal is not known at this time, but follows the NPA’s decision to provisionally withdraw charges against Gupta family members and associates late in 2018, in connection with the alleged Estina Dairy Project scam.
Duduzane Zuma was charged in July 2018 with corruption, alternatively conspiracy to commit corruption, relating to an alleged R600m bribe offer made to former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas in 2015 by a Gupta brother, in Zuma’s presence.
The Gupta brother, who Jonas identified as either Rajesh or Ajay, allegedly offered Jonas the position of finance minister at the family’s Saxonwold compound, in exchange for furthering the family’s business interests.
Zuma and the Guptas vehemently deny Jonas’s claims, and say he met Duduzane Zuma and former arms deal adviser Fana Hlongwane over rumours that Hlongwane was blackmailing him. Jonas is expected to be cross-examined about his evidence about this encounter at the Zondo commission into state capture in the coming days.