Now Zuma can have his day in court - DA

2016-06-24 11:59
President Jacob Zuma. (File, City Press)

President Jacob Zuma. (File, City Press)

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Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma can now have his day in court, DA federal chairperson James Selfe has said.

Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority’s application for leave to appeal the court’s decision that he should face corruption charges was dismissed by the Pretoria High Court on Friday.

"The prosecution against President Jacob must proceed and he must have his day in court as he has always claimed he wanted.

"The (783) charges are in fact automatically reinstated and the NPA must give President Zuma a date by which he is to appear in court," Selfe said in a statement following the judgment.

Zuma and the NPA, however, could still decide to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), or even the Constitutional Court directly, but they would have to show new legal grounds to justify the appeal.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos, however, told eNCA if such a petition didn’t succeed, the NPA would have to make a decision on whether to prosecute or not. This comes after the same court in April set aside the NPA’s 2009 decision to withdraw charges against Zuma, declaring it "irrational".

De Vos, however, said the NPA could still review the decision to prosecute and argue that it was impossible because, for example, the evidence was lost.

"The NPA will have to indict the president as the decision now stands, but it might decide not to do that and set aside the original decision with new reasons," he said.

Selfe said any petitions to the SCA and Constitutional Court were likely to be unsuccessful and "would be a spectacular waste of taxpayers’ money".

He said it has become apparent that the decision to discontinue the prosecution was based on political, rather than, legal considerations.

A full bench of the court, led by Judge Aubrey Ledwaba, found that a different court would not find differently with regards to the dropping of the charges, and that government respondents had failed to advance any legitimate reasons to see leave to appeal granted.

Zuma’s spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said the Presidency would react to the judgment later today.

Hilton Epstein, for the NPA, argued before the court earlier this month that then-NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe would have acted in bad faith if he had continued the prosecution, knowing there had been an abuse of the prosecutorial process.

On April 6, 2009, Mpshe said transcripts of telephone conversations between then-Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

The charges were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban on April 7, 2009.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  anc  |  zuma  |  jacob  |  spy tapes

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