On Friday 13 October 2017, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) rejected, with costs, President Jacob Zuma’s appeal to get charges against him dropped in the South African President’s extended battle to avoid prosecution for fraud and corruption.
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s Justice Eric Leach speaking on the judgment said that the High Court’s decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma was irrational.
The ruling is around Zuma’s and the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) appeal to the court to overturn the High Court’s decision, which found that the 2009 decision by acting prosecutions head Mokotedi Mpshe to drop the 783 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering, was irrational.
Handing down judgment on Friday, Justice Leach pointed to a number of ways in which Mpshe’s decision was irrational – including the fact that the prosecution team had been excluded from the decision, according to a report by the Mail and Guardian.
Leach said that it was clear that Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr and Mpshe were “straining to find justification” for discontinuing the prosecution. He also pointed out that Mpshe wrongly invoked and relied on section 179(d) of the Constitution when he made the decision. Leach admitted that he understands why the present regime at the NPA believed the decision could be defended.
Zuma’s prosecution was discontinued by Mpshe based on the infamous “spy tapes.” These so-called tapes were given to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as part of Zuma’s “representations” as to why he should not be prosecuted. Included in the tapes were recordings of telephone conversations, mostly between former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and the first national director of public prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka. They revealed that McCarthy had consulted extensively with Ngcuka, a passionate Mbeki supporter, about when to indict Zuma — with a view, said Zuma, to bettering Mbeki’s chances of winning the ANC elective conference in Polokwane.
Mpshe’s decision was immediately challenged by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in a case that dragged on for 8 years.
As South African’s got wind of the news filtering through of yet another controversy surrounding the president, many took to social media to share their thoughts.
Here are the best reaction on Twitter:
— Khathide (@Njabulokubheka8) October 13, 2017
— ⚡tanza. (@thelifeofstanza) October 11, 2017
I don't see all the fuss still with Zuma, arrest him with all his cronies and wives, throw him in JAIL, #Zuma
— Shechinah (@Shechinah99) October 13, 2017
— Nyiko Ngobeni (@TheRealNyiko) October 13, 2017
— Zee (@ledidizama) October 13, 2017
— Public Protester (@Pasco_e) October 13, 2017
Thabo Mbeki: Psst Jacob..You do realise that today is literally Judgement day for you #SpyTapes
— AbortedNews (@AbortedNews) October 13, 2017
Once SA is finally free of Zuma, ALL it’s citizens can begin to achieve the boundless potential ANC corruption robbed from our nation #Zuma
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) October 8, 2017
— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) October 13, 2017
— Pauli Van Wyk (@PaulivW) October 13, 2017