11 September 2017

South Africa: DA Face Off With Zuma in Two Court Cases This Week

Photo: allafrica.com
Left: Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Right: President Jacob Zuma.

The DA will face off with President Jacob Zuma in court this week on two matters - firstly asking the courts to impel Zuma to appoint the inquiry into state capture, and secondly in the latest installment in the continuing saga of the spy tapes.

In October last year former public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela in her report on state capture recommended that the president appoint, within 30 days, a commission of inquiry headed by a judge selected by the Chief Justice.

"We know from the SABC and Nkandla judgements that the remedial action of the public protector is binding unless set aside by a court of law," said DA Federal Council chairperson James Selfe, who will spend most of the week in court, in a statement.

Selfe noted that Zuma lodged a review application in the Gauteng North High Court to set aside the whole report on state capture, which will be heard towards the end of October.

"He has not, however, interdicted the remedial action, and in our submissions, he remains bound to carry out the remedial action ordered, including appointing the Commission of Inquiry," said Selfe.

"What is particularly bizarre about the President's action is that he continuously stresses that he will appoint a Commission of Inquiry into state capture, yet he advances all types of reasons why he is not prepared to give effect to the remedial action."

Corruption charges

The DA will be asking the North Gauteng High Court to find that, much like was the case in Nkandla, Zuma is in breach of his constitutional duties by ignoring the remedial action.

This application will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Then on Thursday and Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will hear the appeal of Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority, "nearly eight-and-a-half years after we first filed papers in this case", said Selfe.

In April last year, a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court overturned the NPA's decision to drop 783 corruption charges against Zuma and ordered that the charges be reinstated.

After the High Court denied the NPA and Zuma leave to appeal, the SCA granted Zuma permission to present an argument why he should be allowed to appeal the High Court decision.

The case concerns then-NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe's decision in April 2009 not to prosecute Zuma after transcripts of telephone conversations between then-Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka surfaced, which according to Mpshe showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

This is the so-called "spy tapes".


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