The long awaited court decision against President Zuma’s link with the spy tapes was heard today Friday April 29th as the North Gauteng High Court ruled that former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Head, Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision not to pursue 783 corruption charges, fraud and racketeering, against Zuma was irrational.
Ruling before a full bench in Pretoria, the court reviewed and set aside the 2009 decision to discontinue the prosecution of President Jacob Zuma and Justice Aubrey Ledwaba said that Mpshe was under full time pressure by Zuma’s legal representatives to provide answers ahead of Zuma’s inauguration.
This, according to justice Ledwaba, therefore proves that the decision made by Mpshe not to prosecute, was irrational.
“We found that Mpshe found himself under pressure and made an irrational decision not to charge Zuma,”
This ruling by the court was a victorious note to the ANC’s strongest opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) who filed the corruption charges against president Zuma seven years back.
The president who has been under severe pressure to vacate his seat as the president, after the apex court ruled that he must pay back the Nkandla monies, will again bag a Seven hundred and thirty eight count charges which include fraud and racketeering, if the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams finally decides against him.
The charges were in 2009, dropped by former prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe after considering representations from Zuma. Mpshe made his decision on the basis that the recordings of tapped phone calls between senior officials in then-president Thabo Mbeki’s administration showed political interference in the case.
Five years latter, the phone records now known as spy tapes which were kept secrete were finally released to the DA in 2014 after and today, justice Ledwaba said Mpshe was not in a position to drop the charges adding that even if the decision made by Mr Mpshe was correct, the decision to drop charges was to be made by a court of law.
In addition to this, the judge went on to say that former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy’s alleged interference with charges was in breach of law and prosecutor conduct. He reiterated that abuse of process should have been investigated by court & not pronounced in extra-judicial process.
The DA claimed to still persist on court re -visitation of the case against Zuma because the party want to “establish the principle that a decision to drop a prosecution can be reviewed by a court of law. Clearly in this particular case and given the many other controversies around the arms deal it will be very significant in the sense that a sitting head of state is involved.”
The president did not say whether he will appeal Friday’s corruption charges laid against him at the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Watch full Spy tapes court ruling here