Spy Tapes: What did the court find?

2016-04-29 17:26
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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TIMELINE: Corruption charges, Spy Tapes and court appeals

2016-04-29 15:53

The case of corruption against President Jacob Zuma has run hot and cold since 2007. On Friday the North Gauteng High Court over-ruled a decision to drop the charges.WATCH

Pretoria - After a seven-year battle by the DA, the High Court in Pretoria on Friday ruled that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against President Jacob Zuma should be reviewed and set aside.

The full bench of the court found Zuma should face the 783 charges of corruption.

On April 6 2009, then-NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said recordings 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The charges were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban on April 7 2009.

What the court found:

- Zuma should face corruption charges 

Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba said Mpshe was under pressure and so decided to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma.

"Considering the situation in which he found himself, Mr Mpshe ignored the importance of the oath of office which demanded of him to act independently and without fear or favour," he said.

"Mr Zuma should face the charges as outlined in the indictment."

- Mpshe's decision was irrational

When Mpshe announced that he was dropping the charges, he did so without having discussed it with senior NPA members.

Ledwaba said this was critical, considering that on March 31 2009, they discussed the matter and agreed to continue the prosecution.

"Failure to source their views under the circumstances was irrational," he said.

Mpshe did an about-turn on his decision to prosecute Zuma after listening to the tapes himself, before he had been briefed on their contents.

"The record reflects that he still held the view that the prosecution must continue. His sudden inexplicable turnaround on this matter is clearly irrational," said Ledwaba.

- Mpshe was under pressure

Zuma's counsel said they needed a response about his prosecution from the NPA because he was due to be sworn in as president of the country within a few weeks, in May 2009.

"Mr Mpshe was subjected to such pressure that he could not afford the time and space to properly apply his mind on the implication of what he was about to do," Ledwaba said.

- Mpshe's feelings of anger and betrayal caused him to act impulsively

Ledwaba said Mpshe, in his own words on April 1 2009, stated that he felt angry and betrayed, which caused him to act impulsively and irrationally.

"He did not allow himself time to consider the question whether the very decision he was about to take could be regarded by other people facing similar charges throughout South Africa, as a breach of the principles of equality before the law, or that it would be an abuse of process to discontinue charges against people of high profile or standing in the community."

Read more on:    bulelani ngcuka  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  zuma spy tapes  |  spy tapes

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