There is still hope for President Jacob Zuma when it comes to the DA’s court case to have the decision to drop corruption charges against him overturned.
On Friday, the DA announced that the Constitutional Court had dismissed an application by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for leave to appeal directly to that court.
That was after a full bench of the Pretoria High Court in April overturned the NPA’s decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma. The high court also denied any leave to appeal.
The NPA then chose to approach the Constitutional Court directly. It was this application that was dismissed by the Constitutional Court.
In an order dated September 28, the court said it had concluded “that it is not in the interests of justice for this court to hear the matter at this stage”.
After the high court’s refusal to grant leave to appeal, the president’s lawyers had, however, decided to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) directly.
The SCA is yet to decide on the president’s application.
This means the SCA will first have to deal with the matter and, even if it rules against Zuma, the president could still appeal to the Constitutional Court.
Pierre de Vos, professor of constitutional law at the University of Cape Town, confirmed this, saying:
“We will have to wait to hear whether the SCA will grant the request to hear the case. If they refuse, then President Zuma, who is a different litigant from the NPA, can go to the Constitutional Court and ask it to hear the matter.”
In a press statement released on Friday, James Selfe, chairperson of the DA’s federal executive, said the Constitutional Court’s order “highlights, yet again, the deliberate attempts by the NPA and Zuma to do everything possible to delay Zuma having his day in court”.
In a press release issued on Friday by Bongani Ngqulunga, the president’s spokesperson, he said the president “awaits the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in respect of a petition that he launched on the same matter”.[Source: News24]