NPA will ap­peal spy tapes rul­ing, says it has final say

CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO abram.mashego@city­press.co.za

The Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) will to­mor­row an­nounce its de­ci­sion to ap­peal the North Gaut­eng High Court rul­ing that its de­ci­sion to drop charges against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was ir­ra­tional.

City Press has learnt that the rea­sons to be ad­vanced in the ap­peal ar­gu­ments in­clude that the NPA be­lieves that it has the final say on pros­e­cu­to­rial dis­cre­tion, and that de­cid­ing whether or not to pros­e­cute Zuma was their call to make – not the court’s.

A se­nior of­fi­cial within the pros­e­cu­tion au­thor­ity said one of the rea­sons be­ing ad­vanced was that the NPA was re­quired to act with­out fear, favour or prej­u­dice.

“Be­cause of [for­mer Scor­pi­ons boss] Leonard McCarthy’s con­duct, we are of the view that pros­e­cut­ing Zuma was prej­u­di­cial to him be­cause of po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions. This will have dire con­se­quence on the or­gan­i­sa­tion and we are of the view that a higher court will find dif­fer­ently from the North Gaut­eng High Court,” he said.

The in­sider said that should the high court refuse them leave to ap­peal, they would pe­ti­tion the Supreme Court of Ap­peal di­rectly.

City Press re­ported three weeks ago that the NPA was pre­par­ing to chal­lenge the court’s rul­ing that the de­ci­sion to drop charges against Zuma was ir­ra­tional.

Four se­nior pros­e­cu­tors told City Press at the time that a de­ci­sion to ap­peal the rul­ing was taken even be­fore the rul­ing of the full Bench was handed down by Deputy Judge Pres­i­dent Aubrey Led­waba.

This week sev­eral NPA sources said the ap­peal re­mained on the cards and that na­tional di­rec­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions Ad­vo­cate Shaun Abra­hams and his most se­nior deputy, Ad­vo­cate Nomg­cobo Jiba, were hav­ing sev­eral brief­ings with the au­thor­ity’s coun­sel, Ad­vo­cate Hil­ton Ep­stein SC.

Ep­stein rep­re­sented the NPA in the spy tapes mat­ter and yes­ter­day con­firmed that the NPA re­mained on his client list.

“I can­not share any in­for­ma­tion with you re­gard­ing the mat­ter,” he said, but he con­firmed that he was still be­ing briefed by the NPA.

Abra­hams, who de­nied at the time that they had de­cided to ap­peal the judg­ment, is ex­pected to brief the me­dia to­mor­row re­gard­ing the mat­ter. He could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day.

In a state­ment re­leased af­ter the judg­ment, the pres­i­dency ap­peared to leave its ap­peal op­tions open, say­ing: “As a party to the pro­ceed­ings, the pres­i­dent has noted the de­ci­sion of the court and will give con­sid­er­a­tion to the judg­ment and its con­se­quences

and the reme­dies avail­able in terms of our law.”

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma

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