NPA joins Zuma in appeals case

The NPA is challenging a court decision which set aside the withdrawal of criminal charges against Zuma.

Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is expected to tell judges in Pretoria this morning that their decision to reinstate corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma raises important issues about the NPA's independence, and that the Supreme Court of Appeal must now decide whether a court can overrule the NPA in this case.

The NPA is joining Zuma in asking the High Court for leave to appeal its ruling that the 2009 decision by then acting prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe, to withdraw the charges, was wrong.

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NPA head Shaun Abrahams says the decision by the court affects the legally protected discretion of prosecutors, to decide whether to prosecute or or not.

He believes the National Director of Pubic Prosecutions is best placed make these decisions, not the courts.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) might argue that it was correct, and Zuma must now face the charges that were laid after his financial advisor Schabir Shaik was jailed for corruption for payments he made to him.

Meanwhile, Zuma's lawyers are likely to attack the court's finding that Mpshe was acting out of emotion when he decided to withdraw the charges against him, because he felt betrayed by the conduct of other NPA officials.

They are also expected to say the judges were wrong to find the head of the NPA is not entitled to stop a prosecution because of prosecutorial misconduct.