NPA to approach ConCourt on ‘spy tapes’ ruling

2016-07-15 18:07
President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority says it will file an application for leave to appeal the High Court in Pretoria’s decision that President Jacob Zuma should face the corruption charges against him.

Spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke told News24 that the basis of the application was so that National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams could seek clarification on his powers.

"There are constitutional issues that need clarity that relate to the separation of powers... particularly the powers of the national director of public prosecutions,” Makeke said.

On April 29, the full bench of the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Zuma should face the 783 charges of corruption.

After a seven-year battle by the Democratic Alliance, the court ruled that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against the president should be reviewed and set aside.

READ: Spy tapes: Court went too far, says NPA

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

The charges were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban on April 7 2009.

During its judgment in April this year, the court found that Zuma should indeed face corruption charges.

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said Mpshe acted irrationally after coming under pressure and had, therefore, decided to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma.

He ruled that another court was unlikely to come to a different conclusion, and therefore denied Zuma leave to appeal the decision.

This meant Zuma and the NPA could petition the Supreme Court of Appeal or the Constitutional Court directly.

Even if the original judgment stood, the NPA still had the choice to decide whether or not to prosecute based on other reasons.

READ: 6 reasons NPA is appealing 'spy tapes' ruling

A month after the ruling, Abrahams announced that the NPA would indeed be appealing the decision and cited six grounds for its appeal:

- That the court erred in finding that Mpshe had acted irrationally by not referring the complaint of abuse of process and the related allegations against McCarthy to court;
- There was a transgression of the separation of powers;
- That Mpshe did consider the merits of the case;
- The NPA process was abused for political reasons;
- That Mpshe, as acting NDPP, had the power to discontinue the prosecution;
- And that the court failed to appreciate the true reason for McCarthy and Ngcuka delaying serving the indictment on Zuma.

WATCH this video on the NPA's decision:

Read more on:    npa  |  jacob zuma  |  zuma spy tapes  |  judiciary  |  politics

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