Mpshe failed to attach enough weight to Zuma charges, DA tells court

2016-03-01 15:30
Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

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Pretoria - Lawyers for the DA on Tuesday asked the full bench of the Pretoria High Court to look at the rationale behind the decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

Advocate Sean Rosenberg spent some time going over the history of the case, indicating it was important to give context to the matter.

He argued that National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe had failed to attach proper weight to the matter when he announced in 2009 that the charges would be dropped.

"In his statement, Mpshe said there was an abuse of process. He said there wouldn't be a fair trial because of abuse of process."

Mpshe had said that the timing of the prosecution did not have a legitimate purpose and was improper, Rosenberg said.

He said there was a link between the abuse and fairness and breach of human rights, but he did not believe the abuse of process affected or prejudiced Zuma.

In September 2008, Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson dismissed criminal charges against Zuma, citing a political conspiracy to influence the case by former president Thabo Mbeki and others.

Nicholson's decision was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and overturned. Zuma subsequently appealed this to the Constitutional Court, setting in motion a direct approach to the NPA to make written and oral representations on why the case should be dropped.

Explaining the NPA's decision to drop the charges, Mpshe on April 6, 2009, cited what became known as the "spy tapes".

They are recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka, and apparently show political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

On April 7, 2009, the charges against Zuma were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban.

Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president in May that year, following general elections.

Read more on:    da  |  jacob zuma  |  zuma spy tapes  |  politics

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