/ 12 May 2016

Cabinet calls on South Africans not to pressure NPA on spy tapes ruling

President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma.

Cabinet on Thursday called on people to leave the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) be as it decided what it would do about the North Gauteng High Court ruling that set aside the decision by its former head Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009.

“Cabinet calls on society to allow the National Prosecuting Authority to independently dispense with its Constitutional obligations in terms of section 179 (5) of the Constitution without any undue pressure from any quarters,” said Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who was briefing journalists in Parliament on the outcomes of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

“Cabinet highlights that the court did not deal with the merits of any allegations against President Zuma, nor did it make any finding declaring guilt on any matter against him.”

On Wednesday the NPA said it was still studying the ruling.

In the April 29 ruling, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba found that the decision taken by Mpshe to drop the corruption charges against Zuma in 2009 was irrational and should be set aside. Ledwaba further ruled that the matter needed to be reviewed.

The case, commonly referred to as the spy tapes case, was brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA) which asked the court to review the decision to drop 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering against Zuma.

Mpshe threw the case out on the basis that the so-called spy tapes – recordings of tapped phone calls between senior officials in the Thabo Mbeki administration – suggested they manipulated the timing of Zuma’s indictment on fraud, corruption and racketeering charges for political reasons. – ANA