'Mpshe doesn't respect law'

2009-09-30 18:35

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has accused acting prosecutions chief Mokotedi Mpshe of a lack of respect for the law after he missed a second court deadline in the party's challenge to the withdrawal of charges against President Jacob Zuma.

"The NPA's (National Prosecuting Authority) disregard for court processes and timelines is a blatant attempt to delay this case as long as possible, and is a sad display of the lack of respect it holds for the judiciary," Zille said on Wednesday.

"This is particularly disturbing as the NPA is also an important component of the criminal justice system."

Missed deadline

Mpshe was given until Friday to file a submission to the High Court in Pretoria setting out the NPA's response to the DA's application for a review of his decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma in April, weeks before the national elections that brought the ANC leader to power.

The original deadline was weeks earlier, but the acting NPA head obtained an extension.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said he could not file papers because there were "outstanding matters" to be resolved.

Zille said the DA would not allow further delays to derail its court bid to force a review of Msphe's decision.

Seven years of legal woes

"The DA's review application will go ahead. If the NPA and Mokotedi Mpshe will not submit their affidavits, we will proceed without them," she said.

"In this matter, justice delayed is justice denied and we have no doubt that this boils down to the continued delaying tactics that have characterised this case from the start."

Mpshe's decision brought an end to seven years of legal woes for Zuma.

He found that the existence of spy tapes suggesting political meddling about the timing of Zuma's indictment for fraud and corruption had made it impossible to push ahead with the case.

Zille called the decision "deeply problematic".