SCA to rule on Zuma records

The Supreme Court of Appeal will give judgment on Tuesday in an appeal by the Democratic Alliance in its pursuit of the records of the suspension of criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009.

The DA 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 National Prosecuting Authority to produce the record of proceedings in respect to the decision.

The high court earlier held 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 when it was apparent that he would become the next president, shortly before the 2009 general elections.

The NPA had refused the DA its records and indicated it would challenge the opposition party’s standing to bring the matter to court and the reviewability of the decision as preliminary matters.

Leave to appeal
In 2011, the high court held for the NPA, and the DA asked for leave to appeal against the decision to the SCA, which was granted.

The SCA has been asked to follow a broader approach to give the DA legal standing to get records from the NPA.

Arguing before the SCA, the DA submitted that the high court had followed a narrow course in its decision on the party’s rights, which was not in line with decisions in the Constitutional Court.

The DA denied acting in a “perceived” public interest, as claimed by the NPA.

It was argued there was no other way in taking a decision such as Mpshe’s on review, but through the courts.

On the other hand the NPA argued it had a right to question the DA’s standing in the matter.

It was submitted that the Zuma records were a highly unusual case involving highly controversial information, which justified the NPA’s questioning the DA’s right to access. — Sapa

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