/ 23 May 2016

NPA will appeal Zuma spy tapes ruling

National director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams.
National director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will seek leave to appeal a court ruling that corruption charges must be reinstated against President Jacob Zuma.

“I believe it needs the decision of an appeal court,” national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams told reporters in Pretoria.

“My decision has been made after much consideration.”

Before announcing this, Abrahams went to great length to explain how independent he is, saying: “I will carry out my duties … without fear or favour or prejudice…

“I will always do what is correct, irrespective of whether the individual is an ordinary person, a Cabinet minister or a sitting president,” said Abrahams.

On April 29, the full bench of the high court in Pretoria set aside the decision to withdraw 783 criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma on the basis that it had been irrational.

After a seven-year battle by the Democratic Alliance, the court ruled that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma should be reviewed and set aside.

On April 6, 2009, then-NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said transcripts of telephone conversations between then-Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka, showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

The charges were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban on April 7, 2009.

Last month, the high court in Pretoria found that Zuma should indeed face corruption charges after Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba said Mpshe had come under pressure and had, therefore, decided to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma. – News24