DA a step closer to Zuma corruption charges review

2015-02-07 08:00

The DA has placed its application for a review of the dropping of corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma on the unopposed roll at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where it will be heard on March 16.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said yesterday the step was an attempt to speed up the review, as the National Prosecuting Authority was trying to delay it.

Zille said the NPA had twice – in mid January and earlier this week – ignored deadlines to hand in its answering affidavits. These formed part of the party's application to review the decision to drop several hundred charges against Zuma before the 2009 national elections, in which he came to power.

"This is yet another deliberate delaying tactic that aims to allow President Zuma to finish his second term as president without ever having to account for these charges," she said.

"The DA is determined to put an end to this cynical ducking and diving. We are going to block every loophole they find to delay the process."

She explained that the DA was relying on a procedure called a practice directive, which allows a party to enrol an opposed matter on the unopposed court roll for adjudication.

This would enable the judge to make a ruling without hearing the other party's case. Zille said she hoped this would spur the NPA into filing its affidavits.

"Should they be jolted into action through this practice directive and urgently file their affidavit, it will be dealt with on the opposed roll, and we will request a date as soon as possible."

The DA's bid to force a review of former acting prosecutions director Mokotedi Mpshe's decision to drop the charges has dragged on for more than five years.

Last year, the party finally prevailed in a long court battle, seen as preliminary to a review, to secure the release of the so-called spy tapes on which Mpshe based that decision.

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