Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

DA complains about delays in hearing Zuma case

The Democratic Alliance (DA) complained on Tuesday that its application to have the decision to drop a corruption case against President Jacob Zuma overturned has been unnecessarily delayed by the opposing parties.

The case was initially brought in April 2009, more than a year ago, but preliminary matters are only now being dealt with by the court.

“Had it not been for the delays, this matter could have been heard and resolved much earlier,” said James Selfe, the party’s federal chairperson.

“Broadly speaking, the DA’s case is not about whether Jacob Zuma is innocent or guilty of the charges,” Selfe said. “We are asking the court to review, correct and set aside Mr [Mokotedi] Mpshe’s decision to discontinue the prosecution [Mpshe was then acting as director of public prosecutions].

“We are doing this in the interest of equality before the law and we ask that the court declare this decision to be inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.”

Access to the documentation
However, this week’s proceedings do not directly deal with these matters, but rather focus on whether the DA may have access to the documentation upon which Mpshe relied in coming to his challenged decision: “The DA believes that it is so entitled to the documentation to support its contention that the NPA did not act without fear, favour and prejudice in discontinuing the prosecution.”

The DA is also seeking a ruling on whether other parties may intervene in the case. The DA believes that Richard Young and his company, CCII Systems, should be admitted as intervening parties in this case.

Two other aspects are likely to be debated over the coming days, Selfe says. The first is the standing of the DA. “We believe that as a political party, our responsibility is to act in the public interest, as is it our duty to ensure that the Constitution is upheld and that all are equal before the law; no individual person should be favoured because of the special position that they hold,” the DA chief said.

Second is the reviewability of the NPA’s decision not to prosecute.

“We believe that a decision to discontinue a prosecution is reviewable both because it is an administrative action under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, and because it is reviewable under the principle of legality underpinning the Constitution,” Selfe explained. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Michael Hamlyn
Michael Hamlyn works from Cape Town. Late middle age journalist

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

R350 relief grant will be paid into bank accounts or...

There are concerns that post office branch closures will make it difficult for beneficiaries to access the grant

South Africa at risk of spillover from international inflation, economists...

Higher international oil prices, for example, could affect local transport costs through second-round effects

More top stories

Cape Town transport stabilised after two weeks of taxi violence

But despite the calm, rival taxi associations have not yet made peace in their turf war

R350 relief grant will be paid into bank accounts or...

There are concerns that post office branch closures will make it difficult for beneficiaries to access the grant

China launches carbon market as it aims to reduce emissions

China’s emissions exceed those of developed countries, in large part because of its population of more than 1.4-billion people

Military not a magic bullet: South Africa needs to do...

More than ever before, decisive leadership is needed from politicians, military leadership and civil society to march the South African National Defence Force in the right direction

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…