'Former Scorpions head was motivated by political concerns'

The NPA says setting aside the decision to stop Zuma’s prosecution doesn’t mean charges are reinstated.

National Prosecuting Authority offices in Pretoria. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PRETORIA - The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has argued that the high court made a mistake when it found that the prosecution of President Jacob Zuma was not tainted by the conduct of former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy.

This was among the Democratic Alliance (DA's) submission in an application to appeal the court ruling that set aside the decision to withdraw the case against the president.

Former acting prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe made the decision in in 2009 after representations from Zuma which showed McCarthy may have made political considerations when perusing the case.

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NPA advocate Hilton Epstein argued that the former Scorpions head was motivated by political concerns.

"We accept that what he had before him for the purpose of this case merits are good but the prosecution was being used for another purpose."

But the DA's advocate David Brogstrom says Mpshe never allowed McCarthy to answer to the allegations of misconduct.

"This was a rush to a decision and we accept that a central aspect of procedural irrationality and quite apart from everything else in this case and on that basis alone the order that this court granted was justified."


The NPA has also argued that the setting aside of the decision to stop the prosecution of the president does not mean that the charges are automatically reinstated.

Epstein argued that if the DA is successful it doesn't mean Zuma is automatically recharged.

"After the announcement on 6 April, Mr Zuma went to court and in court the charges were withdrawn and therefor struck off the roll and it doesn't reinstate the charges."

The DA's advocate Johan de Waal says that is not the case.

"The effect of the review of the decision to withdraw the charges means they are automatically reinstated and unless something else happens, this application is brought and Mr Zuma will have to face the charges."

Judgment has been reserved.