NPA will appeal Zuma Spy Tapes ruling

NPA head Shaun Abrahams says he will apply for leave to appeal the High Court ruling on the Zuma Spy Tapes.

NPA head Shaun Abrahams at a media briefing on 23 May 2016. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PRETORIA - Prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams has announced that the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) will appeal the High Court's decision which set aside the withdrawal of criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled last month that the 2009 decision to withdraw charges was irrational.

Then acting prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew the charges after considering representations from Zuma, among them the so-called Spy Tapes.

Abrahams says the decision by the court affects the legally protected discretion of prosecutors, to decide whether to prosecutor or not.

"This is an important matter of principle which affects all prosecutions. I believe it needs a decision from an appeal court."

Abrahams says he consulted widely.

"My decision has been made after much consideration, consultation with senior members of the National Prosecuting Authority and after obtaining legal advice from senior counsel."

The NPA head believes the national director of prosecutions is best placed make these decisions, not the courts.

"It is the national director who is best positioned to weigh the seriousness of abuse within his or her hierarchy."

He goes on to say that this was not the only ground upon which an appeal is being sought.

Addressing questions surrounding report that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was facing imminent arrest, Abrahams says the minister is not a suspect in the so-called rogue unit investigation.