Zuma de­cides he wants an­other chance to ex­plain

The Times (South Africa) - - Front Page - By GENEVIEVE QUIN­TAL

● 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

Pic­tures: Reuters and AFP

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

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