Spy Tapes: DA urges Zuma not to appeal High Court judgment
The opposition party claims the state has already spent R43 million on Zuma’s legal fees since 2009.
JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is urging President Jacob Zuma not to appeal a High Court judgment which set aside the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s decision to drop over 700 corruption charges against him.
The charges include fraud, corruption and racketeering and stem from the 1999 arms deal.
Former NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe decided to clear Zuma's name and drop all charges.
Mpshe reached his decision after considering representations from Zuma which included secret recordings of former scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy
The so-called spy tapes showed that McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelane Ngcuka had made political considerations,- while deciding on when to serve the indictment on Zuma.
The opposition party claims the presidency has already spent R43 million on Zuma's legal fees since he took office in 2009.
The DA's Mabine Seabe said, "It shows that no one is above the law including the president himself and given that we're calling upon the NPA to reinstate the charges because there was no logical or legal reason to drop the charges against president Zuma in the first place."
Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said Mpshe should not have taken the decision with withdraw the case against Zuma.
"The court of law is appropriate forum to deal with abuse of process doctrine not extra judicial process."
Ledwaba said the basis for the alleged abuse of process rested on legally untested allegations which were unrelated to the trial process and the charges.
"It is thus our view that Mr. Mpshe by not referring the complaint of abuse of process and the related allegations against Mr. McCarthy to court rendered his decision irrational."
ZUMA MUST STEP DOWN
Legal experts and political leaders have praised the spy tapes judgement, with some saying it has cast South Africa's judiciary in a good light and others again calling for Zuma to resign.
Former Congress of South African Trade Unions leader Zwelinzima Vavi said Zuma must now do the honorable thing and step down and face his charges in court.
Vavi said the ruling was not unexpected.
"Our judiciary has come to the party time in and time out to say that South Africa is not a banana republic and that no one is above the law. This is a great day for South Africa."
At the same time United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said the judgement has once again proved that the country's judiciary is independent and no one is above the law, even the president.
Holomisa said the judgement shows that Zuma is not fit to continuing leading South Africa.
"It's a challenge to Mr. Zuma himself and the ANC as to whether they're going to allow president Zuma to go to court instead of running the country or that he must step down."