DA lays out Zuma's 'spy tapes' options

2016-05-13 17:12
Picture: City Press

Picture: City Press

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Cape Town – The long-running "spy tapes" saga is far from over, even with the National Prosecuting Authority and President Jacob Zuma having limited options available, DA federal chairperson James Selfe said on Friday.

Briefing the Cape Town Press Club, Selfe and DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said Zuma and the NPA had a right to appeal, which had to be done by Monday, May 23.

If they did so, they would have two paths, he said, which included approaching the Gauteng North High Court for leave to appeal.

"The test for a successful application for appeal is that another court could come to a different conclusion. The problem for Zuma and the NPA is that this judgment was a unanimous decision of a full bench headed up by the Deputy Judge President," said Selfe.

He said it was difficult to conceive that those judges would believe that another court would come to a different conclusion. 

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

After a seven-year battle by the DA, the court ruled that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma be set aside.

"If the High Court refuses an application for leave to appeal, Zuma and the NPA can petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) for leave to appeal. The SCA may entertain an appeal, but I cannot see it coming to a different conclusion," Selfe said.

Direct access

He said an application for direct access to appeal the Constitutional Court ruling was also possible, but was very rarely granted.

He said Zuma could also consider an application for a permanent stay of prosecution, which he had been preparing in 2009. 

"The mountain that he would have to climb would be to persuade a court that a case that was so well prepared ought summarily to be abandoned."

He said another possibility was new National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams dropping the charges altogether.

"He might argue that, after all the time that has elapsed, the chances of a successful prosecution have diminished. This court judgment, however, has established that such a decision has to be rational and that it is reviewable," Selfe said.

He said the best option was for a court date to be set.

"Sooner or later, Zuma will get what he said he always wanted – his day in court," he said.

Breytenbach raised concerns about whether Abrahams would be the one to make the decision.

The party said the trial could be delayed by appointing a prosecutor not familiar with the case, and using other tactics.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said on Friday: "The leadership of the institution is considering the judgment. We have 15 court days within which to decide whether to appeal or not."

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  zuma spy tapes  |  spy tapes

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