NPA to appeal spy tapes ruling; says it will not prosecute Gordhan - As it happened

2016-05-23 09:53

Get all the details from National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams's announcement that the body will be appealing a high court decision on the Zuma spy tapes and will not be prosecuting Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.


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Last Updated at 18:18
23 May 10:57

IN SUMMARY: The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will seek leave to appeal a court ruling that corruption charges must be reinstated against President Jacob Zuma.

"I believe it needs the decision of an appeal court," national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams told reporters in Pretoria.

"My decision has been made after much consideration.

"Before announcing this, Abrahams went to great length to explain how independent he is, saying: "I will carry out my duties... without fear or favour or prejudice...

"I will always do what is correct, irrespective of whether the individual is an ordinary person, a Cabinet minister or a sitting president," said Abrahams.

Earlier, he also announced that the NPA will not be prosecuting Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

"There are no charges of espionage being investigated against Minister Gordhan," Abrahams said.

Last weekend's reports that Gordhan faced imminent arrest negatively affected the economy, the NPA boss said.

Also comments by "certain" media, politicians, and analysts on these reports did not help, he said.

Neither Abrahams nor the institution required the political go-ahead to decide whether to prosecute or not, he added. "The NPA is not involved nor is it driving any prosecution in this matter [the Gordhan matter]... the NPA is not filthy and corrupt as some politicians would want you to believe," he said.

23 May 10:47
Addressing the Richard Mdluli matter and the Zuma case, Abrahams says they're completely different.

23 May 10:47
And that's it for the briefing.

23 May 10:40
Abrahams: I did not consult Advocate Billy Downer... I didn't think I needed to do so. I still dont think I needed to do so. Who I consulted? I don't have to disclose to any person on who I consulted with. I think that is improper.

23 May 10:39
NPA has said they won't speak about merits of the case.

23 May 10:39
Another Q: In reaching decision to appeal did you consult prosecutor Downer and rest of team? If not why not?

23 May 10:37
Abrahams he says he isn't prepared to comment on the merits of the matter.

23 May 10:36
We did consider the approach of direct access to ConCourt but we felt this is matter of significance that we must go the route of the SCA. This is not a delaying tactic - SA

23 May 10:34
First Q: grounds on why appealing - raising constitutional grounds will you apply for direct access to Constitutional Court? Because this has been seen by some as a delaying tactic and if not why not go straight to ConCourt.

23 May 10:33
Now onto questions from reporters. Thoughts on the NPA's decision.

23 May 10:29
BREAKING: NPA will appeal spy tapes ruling. So Zuma won't be prosecuted any time soon.

23 May 10:28
NDPP is person best placed to make decisions on prosecutorial misconduct - SA

23 May 10:27
The court found that Mpshe should have ventilated the alleged abuse in a court - SA

23 May 10:26
NDPP duty is to protect Constitution - SA

23 May 10:25
My decision has been made after much consideration, consultation... and after obtaining legal advice from senior council - SA

23 May 10:25
I will always do what is correct, regardless of persons station in life - SA

23 May 10:24
Whatever decision I make will elicit criticism from some or other quarter - SA

23 May 10:24
SA, bizarrely, states that he follows matters on all forms of media - broadcast, electronic, newspapers.

23 May 10:23
SA says he's taken legal advice on the matter - SA

23 May 10:23
I have read decision of full bench and have considered whether there are grounds to appeal - SA

23 May 10:22
He's now giving background on the spy tapes matter.

23 May 10:22
SA stressing that decision to prosecute, nor prosecute rests in the NPA.

23 May 10:21
Abrahams reads from the NPA Act.

23 May 10:19
SA now turns to spy tapes matter.

23 May 10:19
Abrahams asks if the City Press reporter was here. I was going to ask him to come address you.

23 May 10:19
To laughter from people in the room, SA says: I must give credit to cartoonist for almost accurate depiction of my eyebrows.

23 May 10:18
On 18 May a cartoonist for the Herald depicted me sitting in a side car driven by what was purported to be President Zuma and behind was Gordhan. I'm not a passenger in anyone's vehicle and I never will be a passenger is anyone vehicle  - SA

23 May 10:17
There are those who call on NPA not to prosecute Minister Gordhan but on the same hand call on the NPA to prosecute President Jacob Zuma - SA

23 May 10:16
Unfortunately there are to many today who try to usurp the NPA's position - SA

23 May 10:16
I call on all concerned... to stop playing with our economy. Stop deriving political mileage out of this matter or any other matter - SA (reminder, SA is Shaun Abrahams but for purposes of speed we're using the acronym)

23 May 10:15
The matter (of Gordhan and the Sars rogue unit) is not on my desk - SA

23 May 10:15
Although powers of arrest lie with police, I can assure under my authority no person will be the subject of arrest or charges preferred against them in this matter.

23 May 10:14

In the event that the evidence implicates any person of having committed a crime a warning statement will be taken, and he or she will be given time to respond, says SA. 

At that stage the person will not be informed that he or she is a suspect.

23 May 10:13

If minister is implicated I will make the decision at the end of the investigation on whether anyone should be prosecuted, even if it's the minister, says SA.

It's not in anyone's interest that this matter be investigated in the public domain - SA

23 May 10:12
No espionage charges being investigated against Gordhan or anyone, states SA.

23 May 10:11

Prosecutors may issue instructions to police, which the police must comply with.  This is in order to establish if evidence is reliable - SA

And whether its in interest of justice that such a prosecution must proceed - SA

23 May 10:10
The powers of the Hawks are legislative and clearly defined - SA

23 May 10:10
There is no evidence remotely that has been brought to my attention or attention of NPA, that investigation of SARS rogue unit is politically motivate - SA

23 May 10:09
No person or business person who can claim to have inside knowledge of whats happening in the NPA - SA

23 May 10:09
NPA not party to ulterior motives - SA

23 May 10:08
The NPA is not involved in the removal of office of individuals at other institutions (referring to Gordhan) - SA

23 May 10:07
The NPA is not filthy or corrupt as some politicians strive to portray, SA says firmly.

23 May 10:07
Neither I nor NPA need political go-ahead to prosecute anyone, assures SA.

23 May 10:06
SA: Despite my efforts to address the reports on Gordhan - speculation continued.

23 May 10:05
SA: Last weekend the (Sunday Times) report negatively affected the economy

23 May 10:04
SA gets it right this time, call the Fin Min Pravin.

23 May 10:04
SA to address two matters. The first is the matter of the apparent imminent arrest of the Finance Minister Pravin (incorrectly stated by SA as Trevor!) Gordhan, as well as spy tapes.

23 May 10:02
We must avoid trying, convicting and/ or acquitting people in the court of public opinion, says SA.

23 May 10:01
SA on NPA's independence - the power of prosecution. Prosecutors obligated to prosecute without fear or favour.

23 May 10:00
I do attempt to engage the media when I deem it necessary - SA

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