Publication: Cape Times Issued: Date: 2010-06-09 Reporter: Sapa

DA's legal standing challenged



Cape Times



Reporter Sapa
Web Link

The decision not to prosecute President Jacob Zuma on corruption charges had not resulted in any prejudice to the Democratic Alliance, defence contractor Richard Young or his company CCII Systems, the Pretoria High Court heard on Tuesday.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and Zuma were opposing interim applications by the DA for the record of the proceedings leading to the controversial Zuma decision. They also wanted to stop an application by Young, a former arms deal bidder, and CCII to intervene in the DA's application to set aside the decision.

The NDPP's lawyer, Paul Kennedy, argued that the DA, Young and CCII had no direct legal interest in the decision not to prosecute Zuma and therefore had no legal standing to bring a review application.

It was "simply not enough" for the DA to say it had an interest in justice being done and the rule of law being respected. They had to have a direct and substantial legal interest in Zuma's prosecution.

"One accepts that in a constitutional state every citizen and political party has a right in seeing that the government does its job and applies the rule of law, but that interest does not translate to a legal interest *1," he said.

The Democratic Alliance's contention that every South African had the right to challenge the decisions of public officials could cause courts to be inundated with cases of citizens and political parties who felt aggrieved for some or other reason.

Concerning Young and CCII, Kennedy argued they had made many allegations *2, but never that any action by Zuma had resulted in prejudice to them *3. Their complaint about the arms deal had also not resulted in the decision to prosecute Zuma in the first place.

Kennedy further argued that the decision did not adversely affect anyone's rights, including Zuma's, and that the state could at any time decide to prosecute him again *4.

The DA contended the decision not to prosecute was irrational, arbitrary and taken for political reasons.

The DA's lawyer Sean Rosenberg, argued that Zuma's alleged crimes of corruption were crimes against the public.

"He is alleged to have provided political patronage and protection for financial reward.

"Every South African would accordingly be entitled to enforce compliance with the rule of law since every South African is affected by crimes of this kind. This is in itself sufficient to confer standing on the applicant."

He said the fact that the NDPP had received submissions from the DA, which ought to have been considered alongside submissions from Zuma regarding the discontinuance of the prosecution, resulted in the DA having sufficient interest in the decision.

Legal argument continues before Acting Judge Natvarial Ranchod. - Sapa

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Cape Times.

*1       Daft.

*2      All of which were found to be true.
And more later.

*3      Nonsense, the main prejudice was caused by Thomson-CSF (now Thint). Zuma has been proven in court to be Thints' co-conspirator along with Scabir Shaik.
It's an open and shut case.

*4      Well, do its duty and do it.