CAPE TOWN, October 13 – President Jacob Zuma’s office on Friday reacted to the appeal court ruling that he must face corruption charges, by saying the National Prosecuting Authority must return to the representations he made some eight years ago pleading for the charges to be dropped.
“The decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal today, whilst disappointing, was much anticipated,” the presidency said.
It went on to signal that Zuma would continue to fight the 783 charges of fraud, racketeering and money-laundering, which the main opposition Democratic Alliance on Friday said it would now press the National Prosecuting Authority to reinstate with haste.
The presidency argued that since the court had found that the then head of the NPA had based his decision to withdraw the charges against Zuma, he now expected the NPA to re-apply itself to his representations as to why he should not be charged.
“The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the then Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) had invoked the incorrect provisions in considering President Jacob Zuma’s representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). As such, the decision made to discontinue the prosecution against President Zuma is invalid,” the presidency said.
“The effect of the decision is that the only legitimate decision made by the NPA is to prosecute President Zuma. Importantly, it means that the representations have not been considered and the expectation is that the NDPP will now consider these representations under the correct prescripts of the law and make a legitimate decision relating thereto.”
The presidency stressed that any person “has the right to make such representations and an expectation that a legitimate decision will be made”.
It added that the representations had been validated by subsequent events, and hinted that this included the controversy embroiling audit firm KPMG.
“The representations will be amplified in light of developments in the ensuing period, not least of all are the recent revelations around the integrity of the audit report which underpins the prosecution.”
KPMG was recently forced to withdraw its report into the alleged “rogue” intelligence unit within the South African Revenue Service. The same firm reportedly compiled a forensic report that was to form part of the evidence in the Zuma case.
Earlier on Friday, the SCA dismissed Zuma and the NPA’s appeal against the North Gauteng High Court ruling that the decision to drop the charges had been irrational.
The African National Congress (ANC) said on Friday that it has “noted” the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to dismiss the appeal brought by President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in relation to the reinstatement of corruption charges against Zuma.
This comes as the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed with costs the appeal by Zuma and the NPA in the spy tapes saga.
“The ANC has full confidence in our judiciary and the options it offers to all aggrieved parties. Accordingly, the ANC will study the judgment and await further decisions from the affected parties before making a comprehensive statement on this matter,” the party said in a statement.
Zuma and the NPA had asked for leave to appeal a judgement of the Gauteng North High Court last year, which ruled in favour of the Democratic Alliance (DA), setting aside the 2009 decision by the NPA’s then National Director of Public Prosecution Mokotedi Mpshe to discontinue the corruption case against Zuma. The court held that Mpshe’s decision was irrational.
SCA Justice Eric Leach upheld the high court ruling that the decision to withdraw 783 charges of corruption and fraud against Zuma was irrational. He said the decision to overrule the decision not to prosecute cannot be faulted.
Leach had scathing words for Mpshe’s decision, rubbishing his claims that former head of the Scorpions Leonard McCarthy manipulated the timing of Zuma’s indictment.
Leach, who only took eight minutes to hand down his ruling, said that manner in which the case was conducted on behalf of the NPA was inexcusable. He also ruled that the NPA and Zuma must jointly pay the costs of the appeal as well as three legal counsel for the DA.
Earlier ,The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday dismissed with costs the appeal by President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the spy tapes saga.
SCA Justice Eric Leach upheld the High Court’s decision to withdraw 783 charges of corruption and fraud against Zuma was irrational, saying that the decision to terminate the decision not to prosecute can not be faulted.
Justice Leach, who only took eight minutes to hand down his ruling, said that Manner in which the case was conducted on behalf of the NPA was inexcusable.
It’s now probably clear that the NPA should immediately reinstate charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering and corruption against Zuma.
Zuma and the NPA asked for leave to appeal a judgement of the Gauteng North High Court last year, which ruled in favour of the Democratic Alliance (DA), setting aside the 2009 decision by the NPA’s former Director of Public Prosecution Mokotedi Mpshe to discontinue the corruption case against Zuma, on the basis of irrationality.
Justice Leach also ruled that the NPA and Zuma must pay costs of DA counsels.