Zuma charges: NPA is in contempt, says DA

2012-07-18 12:14

In an “unprecedented” move, the DA has lodged a court application against the National Prosecuting Authority for being in contempt of court after refusing to hand over a record of its decision relating to the dropping of corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

This record includes transcripts of the controversial “spy tapes” which the NPA had claimed were the basis of its decision not to prosecute Zuma.

DA leader Helen Zille admitted at a press conference in Parliament today that the case could trigger a “constitutional crisis” should the Gauteng North High Court find in favour of the DA.

The case comes after the NPA refused to comply with an order of the Supreme Court of Appeal four months ago to produce a record of all the “documents, recordings, materials and evidence” that led to the withdrawal of criminal charges against Zuma in 2009 shortly before the general elections after which he was appointed president.

She said the NPA did give the DA some documents two days after the court’s deadline of April 10, but these documents were “mainly the same documents that the DA had forwarded to the NPA arguing why the prosecution should continue”.

Zille said the NPA’s failure to provide the records raised questions.

She asked whether it was “an indication that there is in fact no record to produce?”

She also said it’s possible that the internal NPA memorandums, reports or minutes of the meetings during which these decisions were taken don’t exist because there were no such meetings.

“Is it possible that there was no rational basis on which this crucial decision was taken?” she said.

“Was it therefore taken on political grounds and is the NPA party to placing someone above the law just because he holds high political office?”

The DA applied for access to these records because it is challenging the NPA’s decision to drop the charges.

City Press was awaiting comment from the NPA at the time of publication.

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