Decision to withdraw criminal case against Zuma was 'fundamentally irrational'

The DA have applied to have the 2009 decision set aside.

Advocate Sean Rosenberg addresses the court during the Zuma spy tapes case. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s legal team has argued that the decision to withdraw the criminal case against President Jacob Zuma was fundamentally irrational and did not consider the weight of evidence against him.

This was heard in the North Gauteng High Court yesterday where there DA applied to have the 2009 decision set aside.

Zuma was charged in 2007 for his alleged involvement in the controversial arms deal and accused of using his political influence to secure contracts for convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik.

Prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew the charges following representations from Zuma which included the so-called spy tapes.

The tapes were secret recordings of Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy discussing the timing of charging Zuma, in a bid to influence the outcome of the African National Congress (ANC)'s Polokwane Conference in December 2007.

Advocate Sean Rosenberg says it was inexplicable that after weighing up the evidence against Zuma, that Mpshe's decided to withdraw the prosecution.

"Let's accept there was offence of conduct on the part of Mr McCarthy and it was unrelated with the decision to prosecute, to the extent that it had any influence and it was related to the timing."

Rosenberg says the decision was irrational and impulsive.

"The approach he took to merely conclude that the abuse in question was a sufficient affront to his sense of propriety and that without more prosecution fell to be discontinued. The nature of the conduct, being the political interference in the timing of the service of the indictment, was limited and insignificant essentially."

Advocate Hilton Epstein says McCarthy's conduct was highly irregular.

"He is manipulating when the charges were brought and doing it to ensure that president Mbeki gets elected at Polokwane."

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has argued that McCarthy's conduct should be minimized because he manipulated the prosecutorial process to influence the ANC's conference

Rosenberg says when weighing the evidence against the president, the decision to withdraw the prosecution was irrational.

WATCH: Zuma's Spy Tapes saga continues