DA: The public deserves to know

2012-11-18 14:37
DA (Picture: Sapa)

DA (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - It was concerning that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) went to a great deal of trouble to prevent a Sunday Times story from being published, the DA said on Sunday.

"The documents are already in the public domain so why do President Zuma’s lawyers and the NPA insist on keeping the reduced record from us?," Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe said in a statement on Sunday.

"These documents only bolster the DA’s case that the decision needs to be reviewed."

In March the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the National Director of Public Prosecution to hand over a record of all documents, recordings, materials and evidence that led to criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma being withdrawn.

Selfe said the DA had since launched another court application to gain access to the reduced record.

This court case would be heard early next year.

Public funds

"It would save both sides a lot of time and the unnecessary use of public funds if, now that the documents are in the public domain, they were handed over to the DA as was required by the SCA judgment," said Selfe.

"If there was a case back in 2009 then there was a case and the NPA can no longer delay the truth coming out."

The NPA lodged an application in the high court in Pretoria on Saturday night in an eleventh hour attempt by the to stop distribution of Sunday Times copies leading with a story on the "spy tape" case relating to Zuma.

However, acting Judge Nomsa Khumalo said since the paper was already in circulation, interdicting the distribution process would serve no purpose.

After hearing presentations from legal representatives for the Sunday Times and the NPA, Khumalo ruled that the court would not interdict the already ongoing distribution on Saturday night.

The NPA's bid was dismissed with costs.

Leaked internal communication

The newspaper was in shops across the country on Sunday.

The Sunday Times story is based on a series - 300 pages - of leaked internal communication within the NPA, including emails and memos. The communiques reveal that top prosecutors believed they had a firm case against Zuma, according to the newspaper.

Selfe said the public had a right to know why the decision was taken to drop charges against Zuma.

"We also deserve to know whether this decision was rational and based on a sound legal opinion rather than a political decision, and that is what we will be asking the court to determine."

The decision in 2009 to drop the charges against Zuma - taken by then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe - was made a month before he was elected president.

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Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  jacob zuma  |  james selfe  |  corruption

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