NPA wants Zuma pun­ished for ‘in­tem­per­ate’ lan­guage


THE Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) has ac­cused for­mer pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma of us­ing dis­re­spect­ful lan­guage in his court pa­pers and wants the court to im­pose a fi­nan­cial pun­ish­ment.

The spe­cial re­quest that could cost Zuma up to R400 000, is con­tained in re­ply­ing pa­pers and was filed by the NPA in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court on Mon­day be­fore the hear­ing of the ap­pli­ca­tion on Fri­day.

Zuma wants the court to grant him leave to ap­peal against an Oc­to­ber 11 judg­ment by a full Bench of the court which ruled he must be pros­e­cuted for cor­rup­tion, fraud and money laun­der­ing em­a­nat­ing from the R30 bil­lion arms deal of 1999 where it is al­leged he re­ceived bribes from French firm, Thales, via con­victed fraud­ster Sch­abir Shaik.

In the pa­pers, the NPA is scathing on Zuma and his lawyers and ac­cuses them of wrongly as­sum­ing that the cor­rup­tion trial has started.

This was in re­sponse to Zuma’s con­tention that by al­lo­cat­ing a full Bench to hear his case, the mat­ter was swiftly changed from be­ing a crim­i­nal trial to a civil trial. Zuma said, as a re­sult, the court vi­o­lated sec­tions of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act. “The full Bench of the High Court has no ju­ris­dic­tion to con­duct a crim­i­nal trial in­clud­ing in­ter­locu­tory ap­pli­ca­tion brought be­fore a crim­i­nal court to de­ter­mine whether there is a le­gal or fac­tual ba­sis on which the pros­e­cu­tion of the ac­cused be­fore that crim­i­nal court should be per­ma­nently stayed. As such the hear­ing of this crim­i­nal trial in the civil court con­sti­tutes an ir­reg­u­lar­ity,” Zuma said in the court pa­pers filed on Novem­ber 1.

Hit­ting back, the NPA said it was not the first time Zuma and his lawyers had raised the is­sue of the full Bench and when it was ex­plained to them dur­ing (May 7 and 13, 2019) meet­ings with Deputy Judge Jerome Mn­guni that there was noth­ing sin­is­ter, they backed off only to raise it once again in their court pa­pers.

“Mr (Dan) Mantsha (Zuma’s lawyer) did not sub­se­quently per­sist with this com­plaint and there­after, Mr Zuma par­tic­i­pated in the hear­ing be­fore the full Bench from May 20 to 24, 2019 with­out de­mur… The ob­jec­tion is based on the in­cor­rect premise that Mr Zuma’s trial has started. It has not. It will only start when he is called upon to plead. His and his co-ac­cused’s ap­pear­ance in the (Dur­ban) High Court last year were pre-trial ap­pear­ances,” the NPA fur­ther ar­gues in the pa­pers.

Af­ter this ar­gu­ment, the NPA then asked for Zuma to be heav­ily pe­nalised.

“Mr Zuma’s no­tice of ap­pli­ca­tion for leave to ap­peal is re­gret­tably marred by dis­re­spect­ful and in­tem­per­ate lan­guage and al­le­ga­tions di­rected at the Full Bench which do not be­long in a proper court process. We re­spect­fully sub­mit that, as a mark of its dis­plea­sure, this court should or­der Mr Zuma to pay the costs of this ap­pli­ca­tion on the at­tor­ney-and-client scale, re­gard­less of the out­come,” the NPA pleads in the pa­pers.

Through­out its sub­mis­sion, the NPA in­sists that there are no prospects for Zuma’s ap­peal to suc­ceed in a higher court. In the main, Zuma, in his pa­pers, ar­gued that the full Bench ig­nored bind­ing find­ings by the late Judge Herbert Msi­mang in 2006 that the NPA ad­mit­ted that its con­duct had prej­u­diced him and struck the case off the court roll.

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