Mpshe stands by decision to drop Zuma charges
Former acting national prosecuting authority (NPA) head Mokotedi Mpshe said he stands by his decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009.
Mphse called into the John Robbie show on Talk Radio 702 on Tuesday morning to discuss the prospect of his decision being reviewed.
This week, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said she believed there were grounds for taking Mpshe’s decision on review. The DA received the spy tapes, on which Mphse based his 2009 decision, last week.
Robbie asked if he was feeling nervous, given the DA’s view that there appeared to be sufficient grounds to pursue a review application of Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges against Zuma. “No, I’m not,” Mpshe replied.
Robbie said the spy tapes would now come into the public domain and said Mpshe “must” be nervous.
“Your reputation is on the line,” Robbie said. “No, John …” Mpshe continued. He said that every judicial decision is open to review by the courts. That was no reason for judges to feel unhappy or threatened by that fact. “If it goes to the high court and the high court says, ‘Mpshe has faulted’, so be it.”
“I stand by my decision until the high court says my decision was wrong and I will abide by that.”
Nothing ‘sinister’ about releasing tapes
He said he based his decision on information before him at the time. Robbie asked, if Mpshe’s decision was correct, why Zuma and his legal team had spent six years trying to prevent the tapes from being made public.
“That’s a question to me as well,” said Mpshe, adding that he didn’t understand why the tapes could not be released. “What is sinister about releasing the tapes?” he asked. “Why were they dilly-dallying with releasing the tapes?”
Asked if Mpshe disagreed with Zille that there were grounds for a review, Mpshe said, “I’m not disagreeing with Zille, but whatever she’s got she must take it to the appellate division. If they agree, well and good. If they disagree, also well and good.”
Robbie reminded Mpshe that his decision (to drop the charges) went against the opinion of the senior NPA team working on Zuma’s case.
“That is their view and opinion. I cannot be expected to listen to each and every person and base my actions on what other people say. I must have my own independent position,” Mpshe said.