President Jacob Zuma’s opposing affidavit in an application to review a decision to drop the corruption charges against him is completely misleading, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.
Zuma, who was the third respondent in the so-called spy tape matter, filed his opposing affidavit last month.
“Mr Zuma and his legal counsel, in their opposing affidavit, rely primarily on conjecture, speculation and uncorroborated hearsay regarding every scandal and failing involving the NPA at the time,” DA MP James Selfe said.
“Mr Zuma’s opposing affidavit presents evidence with no clear intent other than to persist in the NPA’s narrative – in its affidavit – that the prosecuting authority at the time was generally manipulated by senior office holders to undermine Mr Zuma’s bid to be ANC president.”
Earlier this month, Zuma asked for an extension to file court papers opposing a DA application.
This would be Zuma’s heads of argument in the controversy that has dogged his political career since he was an MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, to his removal as deputy president and, finally, his ascendancy to president.
The DA was handed the spy tapes last year after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the NPA had to comply with a previous order to release the tapes. Zuma opposed the move.
The tapes, containing recorded phone conversations, allegedly revealed collusion between the former head of the directorate of special operations (the now defunct Scorpions), Leonard McCarthy, and the NPA’s former head, Bulelani Ngcuka, to manipulate the prosecution of Zuma before the ANC’s Polokwane conference in 2007.
Selfe said Zuma’s affidavit failed to answer the central question, which was: If there was a conspiracy, why could a competent judge not determine that it justified a permanent stay of prosecution, rather than former acting NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe taking the decision to discontinue on the basis that Zuma was being maliciously prosecuted?
In response to the president’s affidavit, the DA said it was still concerned with rationality of the challenged decision and the legality of the impugned decision.
Last week, City Press reported that the senior prosecutor in the corruption case against Zuma had broken ranks with the NPA and was maintaining that the charges should never have been dropped.
‘Reduced to tears’
Advocate Billy Downer submitted an affidavit in which he contradicted some of the statements made by advocate Willie Hofmeyr, who filed the main affidavit on behalf of the NPA.
In the affidavit Hofmeyr filed in March, he defended the NPA’s decision to drop the case against Zuma, arguing that the decision was taken with regard to abuse of prosecutorial process and not just based on the merits of the charges.
But in his affidavit, Downer revealed that he was “reduced to tears” by the contents of the spy tapes, and he felt their contents did not justify a decision to stop the prosecution.
Selfe said this was a clear indication that the decision to drop the charges was politically motivated and had no rational basis in law.
“If advocate Downer’s claims are to be believed it confirms everything that the DA has long contended.
“Additionally, the finality of this matter relies, in part, on an independent NDPP in pursuance of justice, which is why the departure of Mxolisi Nxasana as NDPP is extremely disappointing. He brought much-needed stability and direction to an NPA that has been largely leaderless for some years now,” said Selfe. News24