DA move to review the dropping of Zuma case plods on
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) application to review the prosecution’s decision not to re-charge President Jacob Zuma will take place once three preliminary issues have been dealt with in an exchange of papers among litigants.
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday asked the parties to deal with the issues next month and in August, and the judge president would set a date for the hearing of all the issues.
In April, the DA launched an application to review, correct and set aside April’s decision by acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe to discontinue the prosecution of Zuma.
The matter was delayed because Zuma’s lawyers wanted the party to guarantee security for legal costs.
There has been an exchange of letters between the DA and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) since the application was lodged. The NPA wrote to the DA’s lawyers on April 24, raising two issues it said prevented it from filing the record.
One was that the representations made by Zuma’s legal representatives were made on condition of confidentiality and that the NPA undertook to maintain the confidentiality of the representations. The second issue was that the NPA intended to dispute the DA’s right to bring the action. The NPA was also not sure whether the matter was reviewable.
James Selfe, chairman of the federal executive of the DA, who attended the proceedings yesterday, said the matter of security would be disposed of as soon as the court reconvened. He said the parties would exchange documents on the issues of standing and reviewability in August.
In its founding affidavit on the main application, the party said there was a public right that, where a good case had been established by the prosecution, the case should not be withdrawn.
The party said any impropriety in former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy’s conduct in allegedly manipulating the timing of re-charging Zuma in 2007 was far outweighed by the public-interest considerations in favour of continuing the prosecution.
There has also been an application by businessman Richard Young to intervene in the DA’s review application. Young said the duty of the prosecutor was to prosecute a matter to its conclusion, where there was merit in the charge.
With acknowledgements to Ernest Mabuza and Business Day.