The State’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has ruled that President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers will have to argue openly in court why Zuma must be granted leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that he should face corruption charges.
The SCA stated this on Wednesday morning while refusing president Jacob Zuma leave to appeal the reinstatement of corruption charges against him.
Zuma’s lawyers went to court in June to tell judges in the High Court in Pretoria that they were wrong to reinstate the corruption charges against him.
They claim the court should not have found that former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) acting head Mokotedi Mpshe acted secretly and disingenuously when he withdrew the charges against Zuma.
Prior to that time, the court said Mpshe should not have withdrawn the charges, which stem from the conviction of Schabir Shaik for corruption in 2006. This paved way for Zuma and the NPA to seek permission to appeal the ruling.
But the Supreme Court of Appeal’s order on Wednesday can be interpreted to mean it has not yet granted leave to appeal but has also not refused it.
“The application for leave to appeal is referred for oral argument in terms of 17(2) of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013. The parties must be prepared, if called upon to do so, to address the court on the merits,” SCA said in an order handed down on Tuesday, October 11.
Zuma’s lawyers have one month to file additional copies of the application for leave to appeal, and three months to file the record of the High Court’s proceedings. While the DA, who originally brought the case to court, would then argue why the appeal court should refuse to hear it.
More to this, the court’s order said that the parties should also be prepared to argue “the merits” — to make arguments on why the High Court judgment was wrong or right.