SCA to rule on Zuma’s cor­rup­tion case

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Politics - DEN­NIS CRUYWAGEN den­nisc@the­

TO­DAY Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will find out whether the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) must charge him or whether he will be al­lowed to make new rep­re­sen­ta­tions about more than 700 charges of cor­rup­tion.

The judg­ment by the Supreme Court of Ap­peal (SCA) in Bloem­fontein to­day will have a pro­found im­pact on the out­go­ing ANC pres­i­dent and end a process that has lasted eight years and cost an es­ti­mated R30m.

Ini­tially, Zuma’s le­gal team had ap­proached the SCA seek­ing per­mis­sion for leave to ap­peal an ear­lier de­ci­sion by the High Court in Pre­to­ria that 783 cor­rup­tion charges against the pres­i­dent be re­in­stated.

But in the ap­peals court, Zuma’s lawyer, Kemp J Kemp, sprung one of the big­gest le­gal sur­prises of the year when he said he be­lieved the NPA un­der Mokotedi Mp­she had made a mis­take in 2009 when it de­cided not to pros­e­cute Zuma. That de­ci­sion opened the door to the South African pres­i­dency for Zuma.

Kemp told the stunned judges he ac­cepted that that de­ci­sion was ir­ra­tional and could not stand. He said his client wanted the chance to make fresh rep­re­sen­ta­tions be­fore the NPA de­cided to recharge him.

The NPA’s lawyer, ad­vo­cate Hil­ton Ep­stein SC, also held this view. He asked the court to rule that the de­ci­sion to pros­e­cute be re­ferred back to NPA head Shaun Abra­hams to re­con­sider.

Ep­stein ar­gued that for­mer Scor­pi­ons head Leonard McCarthy had po­lit­i­cally in­ter­fered in the process by de­lay­ing the serv­ing of the in­dict­ment be­cause he wanted Thabo Mbeki to be re-elected ANC pres­i­dent.

Mean­while, the DA, which said it had spent about R10m in fight­ing to en­sure that Zuma got his day in court, has said the pres­i­dent would try to drag out the mat­ter even fur­ther.

“It’s ac­tu­ally very sim­ple. In­stead of duck­ing and div­ing, Zuma should let a trial court de­cide on his in­no­cence. If he is in­no­cent, as he claims, let him have his day in court and let the court clear him. His ac­tions over the last decade smack of a des­per­ate at­tempt to avoid this even­tu­al­ity. These are the ac­tions of a man who knows he has a lot to an­swer for,” DA fed­eral coun­cil chair­per­son James Selfe said.


‘LET COURT DE­CIDE’: DA fed­eral coun­cil chair­per­son James Selfe.

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