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NPA: Dropping of Zuma's 2009 charges justifed

The NPA says it was being used to fight former President Thabo Mbeki's political battles.

Picture: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the decision to drop corruption and fraud charges against Jacob Zuma before he became president in 2009 was justified, because the NPA was being used to fight former President Thabo Mbeki's political battles.

In a 154-page affidavit, top official Willie Hofmeyr details efforts by former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy to manipulate Zuma's prosecution.

The affidavit was filed in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday, in response to a bid by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to have the decision to drop the charges reviewed and set aside.

The affidavit alleges that McCarthy manipulated the prosecution on the instruction of Ngcuka and others, to sure up Mbeki's political chances ahead of the African National Congress (ANC)'s Polokwane's conference.

But the DA's James Selfe says the affidavit offers no substantive reasons for then-acting NPA chief Mokotedi Mpshe's decision to drop the charges.

"We believe that there is nothing in this replying affidavit that in any way weakens our case that this was indeed a decision that was taken for political motives and needs to be set aside."

The president's legal team now has until 15 April to file their own response.

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