DA approaches NPA to make representations in Zuma case
Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance
19 March 2009
Today, after seeking legal opinion, I wrote to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe, requesting permission for the DA to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as it reviews its decision whether or not to prosecute Jacob Zuma. (Full text of letter follows below).
Section 179(5)(d)(iii) of the Constitution states that the National Director may review a decision to prosecute or not to prosecute, after taking representations from any other person or party, besides the accused and the complainant, whom the “National Director considers to be relevant”.
Our lawyers believe that the DA is a relevant party in respect of this particular prosecution. As the official opposition, and as a political party represented in national, provincial and municipal spheres of government, we have a special constitutional role in upholding the rule of law, and the spirit and letter of the Constitution itself.
From documents recently filed by the NPA in the Constitutional Court, it is clear that there is sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on serious charges.
And, as the Pietermaritzburg High Court noted: “A prosecutor has a duty to prosecute if there is a prima facie case and if there is no compelling reason for a refusal to prosecute”.
The DA believes that if Mr Zuma’s prosecution was to be discontinued because of a special “political deal” between the NPA and Mr Zuma, this would undermine the rule of law and the principle of equality before the law. It would be illegitimate and unlawful, and it would make a mockery of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court has allowed the ANC, as a political party, to make representations before the Constitutional Court in a case that concerns aspects of the prosecution of Mr Zuma.
We believe that the DA has a constitutional duty and right to make representations before the NPA. I would urge Advocate Mpshe to hear our representations before the NPA makes any announcement about the outcome of its review of Mr Zuma’s case.