SCA hears DA's push for Zuma records

2012-02-14 21:04

Bloemfontein - The DA legal pursuit for the records that led to the suspension of criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009 continues in the Supreme Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

The Democratic Alliance wants a review of the decision by the then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe to drop charges against Zuma, who was at the time not yet elected president.

The DA has also called on the NPA to produce the record of proceedings in respect to the decision.

The SCA will hear argument in an appeal by the DA against a decision in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, which held that the party had no right to appear in court on the matter (locus standi).

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

The NPA dropped charges against Zuma at a time that it was apparent that he would become the next president, shortly before the 2009 general elections.

The NPA has refused the DA its records and has indicated that it will challenge the opposition party's locus standi and the reviewability of the decision as preliminary matters.

In 2011, the High Court held for the NPA, and the DA asked for leave to appeal the decision, which was granted.

The DA will try to convince the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that it and two intervening parties, Richard Young and CCII Systems, who were complainants in the allege criminal matter against Zuma, have a right to challenge Mpshe’s decision.

In papers filed at court, the DA said the high court followed the wrong approach to its right and should have followed a more "generous and expansive" approach to standing, which the Constitutional Court had repeatedly stated.

The NPA submitted in papers to the SCA that the DA’s interests were "party political interests" in nature as opposed to legal interests.

It supported the high court's finding against the DA on this point.

Zuma’s legal adviser Michael Hulley, in opposing papers, also argued that the DA, as a minority opposition party, had brought the review application on the basis of its standing as a political party.

Hulley argued that the actual interest in the results of the NPA decision was not clearly spelled out.

He said the DA was only out to score "political points" with the case.

  • AyGeewils - 2012-02-14 21:17

    I hope they manage to get these records before they gone forever!

      Francois - 2012-02-14 22:30

      If the records are gone forever, I think that the DA has a case against Zuma, you cannot drop charges without evidence and if the evidence is not there, you must go ahead with the charges. I will imagine that tampering with the records is the biggest threat to the case and as for you, Hulley, could your mom not have misspelt your surname to Halley, then you would come around only every 76 years. How do you sleep at night when people at Aurora are hungry or are you just scoring political points?

      NrGx - 2012-02-15 11:48

      "Zuma’s legal adviser Michael Hulley, in opposing papers, also argued that the DA, as a minority opposition party, had brought the review application on the basis of its standing as a political party." But the charges were dropped because of Zumas political standing. "The NPA submitted in papers to the SCA that the DA’s interests were "party political interests" in nature as opposed to legal interests." And the NPA dropped the charges because of its own "party political interests" in the ANC and Zuma

  • Carl - 2012-02-14 21:20

    Wont happen...we got a criminal heading the country, and thats how it will be

  • Cracker - 2012-02-14 22:21

    Playing with words will not take the essence of the issue away. To illustrate, all the DA had to do was to get a private citizen to join the court proceedings. And then? See the silliness? A political party in any event represents the interests of its members and supporters. A power of attorney by a member or two may also have overcome this locus standing objection. That the outcome may be politically advantageous should not make a difference. Nor that politics may be the motive for the application. The legal system and its application affect all of us, President, Secretary-General, ordinary member of all organisations or even the most humble of citizens. The law must apply equally to all and if the decision not to prosecute is based on principles that allow the evasion of the fair application of the law based on silly technicalities then we need to be protected against such an outcome. It is unfortunate that the state president of this country is now at the center of the controversy but that is the result of misguided decisions not of the making of the people of this country. Whichever way you look at it, the people of this country still have a LOOONG way to go living with and alongside each other and in freedom. The law should not be twisted to saddle us with unfairness and the perception (fact) that equality before the law is somehow avoidable depending on your stature as determined, quite frankly, by circumstances and preferences not available to ALL OF US.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-02-14 22:33

    Let us for a moment think that SCA grants DA their prayer. Does it mean the country will come to stop or Anc's reign over the country will come to an end? Certainly not. And what is DA shall have scored? Absolutely nothing. Again, when one looks at popularity stakes, one cannot vouch for Msholozi's second term as the head of the country. Furthermore, does Hulley think that Msholozi will remain untouchable forever when there are such divisions within the party? Whoever will come in his place, will definately go after him well into his retirement. The man has, in his short space time, caused so much damage to the country that it will not be easy to forget all that he did.

      Cracker - 2012-02-14 22:45

      @ david... The politicians can have their sports but as a country we need a clear legal principle established that will bind ALL politicians in future and secure that the officials know that their tricks will not be overlooked or encouraged. That is the main and very important benefit (potentially) awaiting ALL South Africans and that we should look forward to. Also for the sake of the current friends, supporters and foes of Jacob Zuma. FOR THEIR OWN SAKES. We currently live on the edge of a very thin line between real continued democracy and the possibility of tyranny in this country.

  • Mboneni - 2012-02-14 23:06

    Zuma and Shaik had a corrupt relationship and shaik had his time in prison so Zuma must have his time to prove himself innocent in a court of law,no one is above the law

  • Max - 2012-02-15 04:20

    I wish the DA all the luck with their pursuit because it is in the country's best interest but their chances of succeeding is zero. I think by now their isn't one South African left that still doesn't know that the ANC is a corrupt organization. The different levels of admitting this fact in public is determined by each individual's interest in the ANC, be it a grant, tender, position etc. Anyone that still believes that the ANC is able to govern South Africa to become the prosperous country we all hoped for is sadly mistaken. Maybe there are still some individuals in the organization left that want to achieve this but the ability of the ANC to deliver on these hopes is gone.

  • Garth - 2012-02-15 06:29

    The useless, worthless anc must be made to realise that in a true democracy NO ONE is above the law. Their credibility is in the toilet, waiting for that final flush and this is obvious to all except their blind supporters. Zuma should not have been allowed to ascend to the presidency, for his corruption has fouled that office. The sooner the ignorants that maintain this ineptocracy in power open their eyes to the abuse their beloved anc has heaped upon this country, the sooner we can move forward to a truly democratic SA.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-02-15 09:05

    @Cracker. No one is against DA's application. It is good for our democracy. However, what is infuriates me is lack of consultation with other opposition parties on the matter and DA's knack for going it alone (i.e. promoting one upmanship) everytime there are issues of national interest and tendency among its supporters to brag about everytime a decision is in their favour. And it is this very conduct that fuels racism in the country as it gives perception that DA (whose membership is mainly white) is against the Anc (which is mainly black).

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