DA demands Mpshe resign

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Mokotedi Mpshe to resign after revelations that he borrowed from a Hong Kong court ruling in his reasoning for dropping the Jacob Zuma case.

DA chief whip Ian Davidson said this was proof that Mpshe, the acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), failed to apply his mind to the matter, and had acted on a political motive instead.

“Mpshe must stand down from his post following the emergence of incontrovertible evidence that his statement giving reasons for dropping charges against Jacob Zuma was plagiarised from the judgement of a Hong Kong High Court.

“This implies the NPA never bothered to apply its mind to the evidence before it, and that, instead, the NPA had a conclusion in mind before it started and worked backwards to find a justification.

“When the NPA failed to find anything within South African law to overcome Judge Harms’ statement that the motive behind a prosecution is irrelevant, it resorted to plagiarising an obscure ruling from a foreign court.”

Davidson argued that the Hong Kong judgment did not create a binding precedent because it was based on the common law of another country.

He also pointed out that the ruling by Justice Conrad Seagrott was later overturned on appeal.

“This… materially affects the validity of the NPA’s argument for dropping charges,” Davidson said.

He said the matter would add weight to the DA’s application for a judicial review of Mpshe’s decision to withdraw all fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering charges against South Africa’s likely next president.

NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali was quoted in the press on Wednesday as saying Mpshe had committed “an oversight” by not crediting Seagrott when he quoted passages from his judgement last week to explain why he was withdrawing the case against Zuma.

Mpshe decided not to proceed against Zuma because of “abuse of process” on behalf of former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy, who was alleged to have taken political orders on the case.

Boesak slams DA’s “Stop Zuma” campaign
Meanwhile, Congress of the People (Cope) Western Cape premier candidate Allan Boesak has criticised the DA’s recently launched “Stop Zuma” campaign, saying it “reeks of swart gevaar tactics”.

The DA was playing the man and not the policy in an effort to mobilise its support base among affluent South Africans, he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Opposition politics should be about policy, about what the party you vote for will deliver either as an effective opposition, or as a government for the people, by the people.

“Cheap rhetoric that smacks of racist undertones, playing the man and not the policy; welcome to the world of the DA, a party infused with apartheid-style politics which has no place in our country.”

Constructive solutions were what was needed.

“A more constructive approach should see slogans and campaigns that read ‘Stop Crime’, ‘Stop Unemployment’, ‘Stop Poverty’, ‘Stop Corruption’, ‘Stop Inadequate Healthcare’—ideals meaningful to South Africans,” Boesak said.—Sapa

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