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18 Feb 2009 15:33
Graft-accused African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma has a “poor” chance at succeeding in his appeal to the Constitutional Court, says the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in court papers.
“I submit that Mr Zuma’s application for leave to appeal to this court is not in the interests of justice because his prospects of success are poor,” states George Baloyi, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, in papers lodged on behalf of the NDPP on Tuesday.
Zuma has lodged an application to appeal against a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in January.
The SCA ruling meant that he has to again face charges of corruption and fraud related to a multibillion-rand government arms deal.
The SCA ruling overturned a Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling in September last year, which in effect halted Zuma’s prosecution.
The high court ruling also hinted at political interference in the decision to prosecute Zuma, who is the ruling party’s presidential candidate in general elections this year.
That part of the high court ruling ultimately led to the axing former president Thabo Mbeki.
The NDPP argues in its papers that Zuma’s appeal in the Constitutional Court is pointless.
“The essence of Mr Zuma’s complaint is that the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] should not have taken the decision to prosecute him without first affording him a hearing,” contends Baloyi.
“If his intended appeal were to be upheld, it would mean that the NPA would be obliged to afford him a hearing, after which the NPA could still take the decision to prosecute him.”
But there would be no need for a further hearing, says Baloyi, because “by the time the intended appeal is determined, the NPA will have considered representations by Mr Zuma concerning his prosecution”.
Baloyi says if the NPA decided to continue with his prosecution, this appeal before the Constitutional Court would have just caused another delay.
“If those representations are not successful from Mr Zuma’s perspective [i.e. the NPA decides to continue with his prosecution], all the intended appeal [if successful] will achieve is yet another interruption and further delay in this matter in order to facilitate the making, consideration and determination of yet further representations,” Baloyi argues.—Sapa
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