The Democratic Alliance said on Monday the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to appeal a High Court order that corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma be reinstated was an attempt to shield the president.
National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams had earlier told a news conference he would appeal against the ruling that could reinstate 783 corruption charges against Zuma.
The DA said in a statement that this was “a blatant delaying tactic to shield Jacob Zuma from facing the 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering levelled against him almost a decade ago”.
The case around the so-called “spy tapes” was brought by the DA which asked the court to review the decision to drop 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering against Zuma.
Last month, the High Court in Pretoria set aside the decision by former acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw the raft of charges against Zuma, back in 2009.
Delivering the judgment on April 29 on behalf of a full bench, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba found that the decision taken by Mpshe to drop the corruption charges against Zuma in 2009 was irrational and thus set it aside.
Ledwaba further ruled that the matter needed to be reviewed.
On Monday Abrahams told reporters in Pretoria: “In principle, the judgment also affects each and every person who is a subject of a prosecutorial consideration and the discretionary powers of a prosecutor which is exercised on a daily basis and at various stages of the process.
“The judgment of the full bench of the Pretoria High Court is also a matter that seriously affects the separation of powers.”
He said due to the far-reaching significance of the case, “it needs the decision of an appeal court”.
“It has far reaching ramifications for the powers of this institution and for the very citizenry of our republic,” said Abrahams.
Abrahams said that if that was now the general principle, then prosecutors would be deprived of much of their power.
He said that Article B of the code of conduct for members of the National Prosecuting Authority said that prosecutorial discretion should be exercised independently “in accordance with the prosecution policy and policy directives, and be free from political, public and judicial interference”.[Source: African News Agency and Reuters]