Court hears battle for Zuma records

2012-02-15 15:58

Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal has been asked to follow a broad approach to give the DA legal standing to get records from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Sean Rosenberg, for the Democratic Alliance, was arguing an appeal application on Wednesday for records that led to corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma being dropped in 2009.

The High Court held previously that the DA had not shown that its rights, that of its members, or the broader public's, had been adversely affected by the NPA’s decision not to prosecute Zuma.

Rosenberg submitted that the High Court had followed a narrow course in its decision on the rights, which was not in line with decisions in the Constitutional Court.

The opposition party wants a review of the decision, taken by the then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe, to drop charges against Zuma, who at the time had not yet been elected president.

The DA further called on the NPA to produce the record of proceedings on its decision.

Rosenberg denied the DA was acting in a "perceived" public interest, as claimed by the NPA. Rosenberg submitted the party could act in its own, and the public's interest. He argued there was no other way in taking a decision such as Mpshe's on review, but through the courts.

Rosenberg agreed with the bench of five judges that every citizen could not take every possible public interest matter to court as this would open a floodgate of litigation.

He agreed that consideration should only be given to issues of "grave public importance". However, he argued there was a right in the Constitution to "proper prosecutions" in the public interest.

He said the NPA’s contention that the record required was too vast was wrong.

"The NPA’s decision it seems, was based on tapes."

Rosenberg said the DA wanted the "reduced record" on which its decision to drop the case against Zuma was based. The NPA could not withhold this just because other documents were confidential.

Paul Kennedy, for the acting director of public prosecutions, said the NPA had a right to question the DA's standing in the matter.

The judges wanted to know why the NPA had acted in the "peculiar way" of raising other issues not pertaining to the records sought.

Kennedy submitted the Zuma records were a highly unusual case involving "highly controversial information", which justified the NPA's questioning the DA's right to access.

He said confidential information formed a fundamental part of the record sought by the DA.

Kennedy submitted the DA was not directly affected by the decision not to continue with Zuma's prosecution. This included its members and any member of the public.

The matter continues.

  • Henri - 2012-02-15 16:06

    So, Julius, we hear you are a bread winner in the Malema family! JM: You see, people like saying all these sorts of things about me and its fine. Anyone who claims that I'm a bread winner must come forward with evidence and prove to the people that indeed, I entered a bread competition. According to my knowledge, I have never entered any bread competition. Bring the evidence - I'm not afraid

  • mariuskowie - 2012-02-15 16:16

    The cover-up will continue. DA, you are wasting your time and money. This is like f@rting against thunder

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-02-15 16:28

    The High Court held previously that the DA had not shown that its rights, that of its members, or the broader public's, had been adversely affected by the NPA’s decision not to prosecute Zuma. The whole country has been adversely affected. The whole world knows SA has a corrupt idiot running it. It's obvious by fighting tooth and nail to hide the evidence that it is the truth .

  • Mboma - 2012-02-15 16:36

    "Kennedy submitted the DA was not directly affected by the decision not to continue with Zuma's prosecution. This included its members and any member of the public". This is a vey lausy line of argument. Even a fisrt year law student would reason tha by dropping the charges, without foundation (we want to exhaust avenues of verifying the foundation) the South African public is not sure if its president is a criminal or not. So how can one argue we are not affected. It was very important to verify thru the courst that JZ was innoicent, so that the public can have confidence in his leadership, so that the country can be sure he wil be tough on corruption. The South Africans were denied of this knowlegde and the state lawyer using our tax money tells us we are not affected.

      Mzwandile - 2012-02-15 16:52

      These are not new arguments. They have been confirmed by the high court, so you are suggesting that the five judges didn't even pass their 1st year. Think before you write. Public interest is not interpreted lighly by the courts. A party that got less tham 25% in national election cannot be claiming to be representing the interest of everyone

  • Gavin - 2012-02-15 16:42

    in SA the search for the truth will always be frustrated by the ruling party. they have whole soccer field sized cupboards full of skeletons. you'd think they'd have learnt by now - do a good job running the country and people will leave your dirty laundry alone.

  • Mano-Lee - 2012-02-15 17:00

    Kennedy you tosser! Ofcourse it affects us! We the SA public dont know whether we have a crook or a thief as a president. The DA speaks for me and another 5million people you toss! You are throwing our country and truth away for a few silver coins you toss!

  • Sylvia - 2012-02-15 17:12

    This is an issue of "grave public importance." The future of our beloved country depends on getting to the bottom of the corruption once and for all.

  • Wesley - 2012-02-15 17:22

    This is the definition of irony. On the one hand he is speaking about corruption and on the other hand he must try and get his own ass out of court

  • david.lebethe - 2012-02-15 17:26

    @Alicia. Sounds like one upmanship, isn't? We all love this country (perhaps more than many of your kind) and do not approve of how the Anc is running the country and have been vocal about it but do not beat our chests the way DA and many of its supporters are doing and which makes us different. To many DA supporters (and I dare say white people), the problem is about black people's inability to run the government and when they had, in the first place, ran the country to the ground merely for protection of white interests. Please, understand that by so saying, I advocate for corruption and lawlessness in the country. In fact, I agree with many views in this forum that the Anc is ruining the counttry and needs to be replaced sooner than later.

  • Meldino Kailane Majoko - 2012-02-15 18:05

    my president i will make u into a great nation and i will bless u i will make your name great and u will be a blessing will bless those who bless u and whoever cursed u i will curse and all people on earth will be blessed through u with love and respect

  • Hannes Bosman - 2012-02-15 18:22

    why still going on about this?? lets think about this... 1st of all this gonna take years to proof 2nd by the time the court grant reopening of this case the secrecy bill has been passed and 3rd he is our president, laying charges again against the president means JZ has to step down, malema gets his wish!!! wtf??

  • Mzwakhe Thulari - 2012-02-15 18:54

    m stil askin even today, how can a person rape nd b allegations of corruption against him nd walk frEe? whr is Justice dat he is talkin abt. He will draw da support he Got

  • tacod - 2012-02-15 22:34

    The case against Zuma affects every citizen of the country as he is basically in charge of the country so the NPA can not claim that the interests of the people of the country is not affected by the decision. I think the reason why they fight so hard to not hand over the records is that the DA might find that there was political interference to have the case against Zuma dropped and not some tapes. If the tapes in any case was made illegally, then they can not be admitted as evidence in a court hearing and the use of such tapes to decide if a case goes ahead or not, show that the case was politically influenced.

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