Zackie Achmat & Co. occupy NPA office to demand Zuma's arrest

Unite Behind activists say they will not move until either they or the President is prosecuted

Activists occupy NPA office to demand Zuma's arrest

1 November 2017

Cape Town - "Arrest Zuma or arrest us", Unite Behind activists chanted as they occupied the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) offices in central Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon.

Around 20 activists, wearing masks depicting NPA head Shaun Abrahams’ face, sat in the foyer and promised not to move until an arrest warrant for President Jacob Zuma was issued.

Zuma has been avoiding prosecution for 18 charges amounting to 783 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering levelled against him.

Activist Zackie Achmat told the state prosecutors standing around in the office that they have a decision to either prosecute the activists or Zuma.

"The real crooks and robbers are sitting in Parliament. The real crooks are sitting in Saxonwold," Achmat said, perhaps making reference to the controversial Gupta family.

"Shaun Abrahams is not fit to lead you. Shaun Abrahams fears Zuma."

On being arrested

Western Cape police spokesperson FC van Wyk told News24 that police would not be deployed to the offices unless the NPA requested it. He said he has not yet received any word from the NPA.

The central Cape Town police station had, however, been alerted to the occupation.

Earlier on Wednesday, Achmat told some 50 activists in the Central Methodist Mission church in the Cape Town CBD that it was important to be arrested to "get people to act and not only tweet" about it.

Achmat promised activists that Unite Behind would provide legal representation to those arrested.

He said activists would be bailed out on Thursday, but would have to remain in custody overnight.

Achmat, however, urged the pupils present at the gathering not to risk getting arrested. Western Cape South African Communist Party secretary Benson Ngqentsu said he was attending the gathering because the "corrupt Zuma is ruining the country".

Ngqentsu said it was very clear that the ANC would not take decisive action against Zuma.