POLITICS

Zuma Corruption Charges: 5 Things You Need To Understand

It's been a long and winding road... and it ain't finished yet.

13/10/2017 08:41 SAST | Updated 13/10/2017 08:41 SAST
Grant Neuenburg / Reuters
It's a laughing matter... President Jacob Zuma has been fighting corruption charges for more than a decade.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), with Judge Mahomed Navsa in charge, will on Friday deliver judgment in a bid by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and President Jacob Zuma to overturn a decision by the North Gauteng High Court that corruption charges against him be reinstated.

The High Court found that a decision by former acting national director of public prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, in May 2009, that 18 charges of fraud and corruption must be dropped was "irrational" and needed to be reinstated. Kemp J Kemp, on behalf of Zuma, surprisingly agreed that it was irrational.

Here are five things to understand about the court judgment:

1. The SCA will only confirm or reject the High Court's earlier decision, i.e. that the charges against Zuma must be reinstated.

2. The SCA won't order that Zuma must stand trial. It will limit itself to what the High Court decided.

3. The NPA still has wide discretion to decide whether or not to bring the Zuma matter to trial. One question that we will get answers to is whether Zuma will be allowed to make representations to the NPA.

4. The judgment won't have any material impact on the ANC's leadership race. Zuma has been a compromised politician ever since his original benefactor, Schabir Shaik, was found guilty on similar charges in May 2005.

5. Zuma still has some options left to stall the process. If the SCA, for example, decides he cannot make representations, he might be able to bring a court application to contest this. He will also probably look towards the Constitutional Court, even though chances of success are limited.