SCA upholds High Court decision on Zuma charges

The Supreme Court of Appeal has confirmed that the decision to withdraw the 783 criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma was irrational.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and President Jacob Zuma against a High Court order which set aside the decision to withdraw charges against the president.

The judgment was handed down in Bloemfontein on Friday morning.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled earlier this year that the 2009 decision to withdraw the 783 charges was irrational and set it aside which had the automatic effect of the charges being reinstated against the president.

Former prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew criminal charges against Zuma in 2009, after considering representations from the president which included the so-called Spy Tapes.

When the parties argued the case three weeks ago, they conceded that Mpshe had relied on an incorrect provision in law to base his decision on.

Judge Eric Leach says that the NPA and President Zuma were correct to concede that the decision to withdraw criminal charges was not supported by law.

"In light of what appears above, it is difficult to understand why the present regime at the NPA considered the decision to terminate the prosecution could be defended. The appeal has therefore failed"

Leach says that in any event, Mpshe’s decision stood to be set aside.

"The exclusion of the prosecution team from the final deliberations leading up to the decision to discontinue the prosecution appears to be deliberate and is in itself irrational."

Zuma and the NPA have been ordered to pay the costs of the failed application.

READ: The SCA's judgment on Zuma's spy tapes appeal

Zuma Spy Tapes Judgment by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd