NEWS

Zuma Back In Court As The Spy Tapes Saga Continues

Zuma's lawyers say the decision to drop the charges against the president in 2009 was not irrational, despite the high court finding it to be so.

07/06/2017 06:51 SAST | Updated 07/06/2017 06:51 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Jacob Zuma addresses an anti-crime meeting in Elsie's River, Cape Town on May 30 2017.

The so-called spy tapes saga is back in court, with President Jacob Zuma's lawyers arguing on Tuesday that dropping the charges against him in 2009 was not irrational.

In 2016, the high court in Pretoria ruled that Zuma should face charges of fraud, racketeering and corruption. Then head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mokotedi Mpshe, dropped the charges against Zuma in 2009, saying they were politically motivated. But the court found in 2016 that this decision was irrational.

While the high court refused the NPA and Zuma leave to appeal that ruling, they have now approached the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, saying that the high court was wrong, eNCA reported.

The NPA reportedly says, in papers filed at the appeal court, that the high court should have referred the case back to the NPA.

According to Business Day, Zuma's lawyers say the NPA was caught between a "rock and a hard place" when the charges against Zuma were dropped. This was because the NPA was being dictated to by politicians, Zuma's lawyers reportedly say.

"The zero tolerance pronounced by Mpshe for politically motivated and driven exercises of prosecutorial powers starting with Zuma is hardly an irrational response," Zuma reportedly says in court papers.

Zuma also said that the charges against him could not simply be reinstated.

"The charges cannot practically simply appear without reinstatement and the formal procedural steps that requires. That is why this is left in the hands of the executive authorities, the NPA," he reportedly said.

The Democratic Alliance has been in court since 2009 in an effort to have the charges reinstated, saying that the decision to drop them was irrational.