National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009 was not taken lightly by the Democratic Alliance. Afterwards, the party took to the court to overturn NPA’s decision.
As it stands, the long legal battle is yet to end as the party continues its fight against the president in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday. The spy tapes case against Zuma has lingered for nearly six years.
However, in order to solidify the party’s fight and authenticate its claims, the party first had to fight for the release of recorded telephone conversations that allegedly revealed political interference in the prosecution.
The party said that the so-called spy tapes case has cost the Democratic Alliance (DA) roughly R10 million and counting. The party however believes that if the case ends in their favour, the NPA would reinstate charges against Zuma.
“At the last count, it was roughly R10 million that we had spent on legal fees; obviously we have got some of those costs back again because along the way we won one or two cases,” Selfie admitted.
DA’s Selfe further claimed that it took the party more than four years and six court appearances before the “spy tapes” and the record of decision were handed to them. Also, the party waited for a court date for over one year.
Speaking about the case, DA’s federal council chairperson James Selfie opined that NPA had no right to lay off charges against President Zuma.
“For us it is a matter of principle.”
“We are optimistic that the court will receive our arguments favourably and come to a determination to set aside the decision to drop the charges against President Zuma ,” said James.
“It has less to do with President Zuma and more with the independence of the NPA and the reasons they use to institute and drop charges.”
“The president may indeed not be guilty of corruption but must, like any other citizen, have his day in court,” DA’s Breytenbach added.
The DA is seeking the court’s approval to declare Mpshe’s decision not to prosecute Zuma baseless and annul the decision. We will recall that in 2009, NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe decided to drop 783 fraud‚ corruption and racketeering charges against President Jacob Zuma on the basis of tape recordings of intercepted conversations between Advocate Bulelani Ngcuka (former NPA head), Advocate Leonard McCarthy (former head of the Scorpions) and others.
The recordings apparently show that the timing of the charges against Zuma was manipulated to influence the ANC’s Polokwane leadership election.
However, the DA has insisted that it was irrelevant whether the timing was manipulated or not. For this reason, Zuma must stand trial and answer all charges leveled against him. Because, Mpshe’s decision “was born out of irrational political considerations not based in law or due process”.