Mpshe: There was no pressure on me to drop charges against Zuma
Mokotedi Mphse withdrew charges against Zuma in 2009, convinced that there was political interference in the case.
JOHANNESBURG – The man who dropped corruption charges against then president Jacob Zuma says he wasn’t pressured to do so.
Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew charges against Zuma in 2009, convinced that there was political interference in the case.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has now decided to go after the former president and charge him after the Supreme Court of Appeals dismissed his application to appeal the North Gauteng High Court ruling.
The high court ruled that Mpshe’s decision to withdraw the charges was irrational.
“No, there was no pressure, there was no pressure on me at all.”
At the announcement in Pretoria on Friday, the advocate revealed that an application for a permanent stay of prosecution has been lodged in Cape Town.
While Zuma raised complaints of prosecutorial misconduct and impropriety Advocate Shaun Abrahams says a trial court is the best place to hear these arguments.
Abrahams says the matter of Zuma will now be referred to the KwaZulu-Natal Director of Public Prosecutions to set in motions steps to secure the accused in court.
But he says an NGO, which he didn't identify, has launched an application for a permanent stay of Zuma’s prosecution.
“I, along with the National Prosecuting Authority, have been cited as respondents in this matter. I’ve instructed the state attorney to brief senior council to oppose this application.”
While it’s unclear who has brought the case to court, this route remains a legal option for the former president.
Meanwhile, lawyers acting for French arms company Thint says Abrahams has not contacted them to inform them that their client will be recharged.
Abrahams did not announce a decision relating to Thint but did refer to former president Jacob Zuma' s co-accused.
Thint's attorney said they have been in contact with the NPA about this matter but Abrahams did not specifically contact them to inform them that their client will be re-charged.
When Mpshe took the decision to withdraw charges against Zuma, he also withdrew charges against Thint.
But the subsequent legal challenge from the Democratic Alliance on that decision only related to Zuma and not to Thint.
Abrahams refused to allow Thint to make representations but the former president's lawyers were allowed to do so.