Zuma decides he wants another chance to explain
● President Jacob Zuma has bet his future on a bewildering roll of the legal dice.
In a staggering about-turn on Thursday, Zuma has asked for a new opportunity to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on the hundreds of corruption charges that have haunted him for years.
In an apparent pre-emptive move in case he loses the appeal before the Supreme Court of Appeal, Zuma wants the current NPA head, his ally Shaun Abrahams, to make a new decision on the
783 corruption charges hanging over his head.
But the Democratic
Alliance, spearheading the case against
Zuma, is confident that his latest move will backfire. Legal expert Ulrich Roux told The Times it was a mystery why counsel for the NPA and Zuma went to court on Thursday, only to concede that the decision by former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe to discontinue the prosecution was irrational.
“The judges would provide clarity in their forthcoming judgment on whether the NPA must be forced to prosecute Zuma and, if so, whether Zuma should be allowed to make fresh representations,” Roux said. Zuma turned to the SCA on Thursday to ask for leave to appeal against an earlier ruling by the High Court in Pretoria that the 783 corruption charges
“We are hoping the court will give some clarity to the process that must now take place”
JAMES SELFE DA federal executive chairman against him should be reinstated, following the application by the DA.
The High Court said it was irrational of the NPA, then led by Mpshe, to drop the charges against him, shortly before he became president of South Africa in 2009.
But instead of Zuma arguing in the SCA on Thursday that the decision to drop the charges was rational, his lawyer, Kemp J Kemp, said exactly the opposite.
He told a full bench of judges he believed the NPA had made a mistake when it decided not to prosecute Zuma.
Asked by one of the judges if he defended the decision to drop the charges, Kemp said: “No, I’m not defending it.”
“You accept that the decision was irrational and cannot stand?” asked another of the judges.
“Yes,” said Kemp.
Kemp told the SCA his client wanted
President Jacob Zuma has got his lawyer Kemp J Kemp, right, to initiate a complicated legal gamble to prevent him having to appear in the Supreme Court of Appeal on 783 corruption charges