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Court: Dropping Zuma charges doesn’t advance course of justice

The court reaffirmed the High Court’s ruling that the 2009 decision to withdraw the case was irrational and stands to be set aside.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Supreme Court has found that the decision to discontinue the criminal case against President Jacob Zuma does not preserve the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) integrity or advance the course of justice.

The court reaffirmed the High Court’s ruling that the 2009 decision to withdraw the case was irrational and stands to be set aside.

The court also accepted the NPA and Zuma’s concessions that former prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe relied on an incorrect provision in law to make the decision.

Judge Eric Leach said Mpshe’s reasons for discontinuing the prosecution of Zuma in order to preserve the integrity of the NPA was not achieved.

“The opposite is true. Discontinuing a prosecution in respect of which the merits are good, in respect to when there is heightened public interest in the nature of the charges and the person at the centre of the charges can hardly redoubt on the NPA’s credit or promote the integrity of the NPA.”

He says the conversations in the spy tapes do not impinge on the integrity of the charges against Zuma nor do they undermine the merits of the case.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress has noted the court’s ruling, saying it will study the judgment before releasing a comprehensive statement.

READ: The SCA's judgment on Zuma's spy tapes appeal

Zuma Spy Tapes Judgment by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has meanwhile welcomed the ruling. He says it’s a win for justice and the law, and that it’s now up to NPA boss Shaun Abrahams to prove his independence.

“I’m asking Shaun ‘The Sheep’ to commit by reinstating all 783 charges and furnish the people of South Africa with a date by which they will see these charges proceed. Advocate Abrahams must give a response to us within 10 days.”

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