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Spy tapes: DA hopes to reinstate 783 charges against Zuma

President Jacob Zuma was charged in 2007 after he was elected leader of the African National Congress.

President Jacob Zuma in response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address, National Assembly, Cape Town. Picture: GCIS.
President Jacob Zuma,Democratic Alliance,Zuma spy tapes
Local Politics

CAPE TOWN - It has taken nearly seven years and roughly R10 million in legal costs for the Democratic Alliance (DA) to challenge the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma in the High Court in Pretoria. 

The official opposition says the legal battle, which began in 2009, has never been more relevant because it revolves around the independence of the prosecutions body.

The DA went to court after former acting NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the charges because the timing of Zuma’s prosecution was being abused for political reasons.

Zuma was charged in 2007 after he was elected leader of the African National Congress (ANC).

Tomorrow, the DA’s case will come full circle, because its lawyers will be back in the same court where this drawn-out legal battle first began.

The party will argue that Mpshe’s decision was irrational, invalid and should be set aside.

To get to this point, the party had to fight for the release of recorded telephone conversations that allegedly showed political interference in the prosecutorial process.

In 2014, after four years of legal wrangling, the DA was handed the so called “spy tapes” and the NPA's record of decision.

The DA’s Federal executive chairperson, James Selfe, says this case has been pursued as a matter of principle.

“We don’t believe that it is healthly in any judicial system for a prosecuting authority to take decisions on political grounds. If they are to drop charges they must be because a charge cannot be sustained in law.”

If the 2009 decision to drop the charges against the president is set aside, the DA is hoping it could lead to the reinstatement of the 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against the president.

That decision will rest with NPA head Shaun Abrahams.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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