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Mpshe: I still stand by my decision to drop charges against Zuma

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has now decided to prosecute the former president after rejecting his representations.

FILE: Jacob Zuma addresses the Durban High Court on 7 April 2009 after prosecutors withdrew fraud and corruption charges against him. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Former acting head of the npa mokotedi mpshe says he stands by his decision to withdraw corruption charges against former president jacob zuma.

This is despite, the president’s legal counsel conceding in the Supreme Court of Appeals that his decision was unlawful.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has now decided to prosecute the former president after rejecting his representations.

Zuma raised concerns about prosecutorial manipulation and fair trial abuses.

Mpshe says he doesn’t have regrets.

“I was convinced at the stage when I made that decision that my decision is the appropriate decision and I still stand by my decision which I made then.”

Mpshe says he wasn’t pressured to do so.

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.