DA will consider legal action if NPA drops the charges
Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance
2 April 2009
Should the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) drop the charges against Jacob Zuma tomorrow, the DA will demand to know its reasons for doing so. Should the reasons not be satisfactory and accompanied by proper disclosure, we will institute legal proceedings to ensure that justice is served.
Selected leaks to the press indicate that the NPA is hopelessly compromised because of political interference. It appears that the NPA might drop the charges against Jacob Zuma because it fears that Zuma will use his own corruption trial to demonstrate that the NPA was complicit in a political conspiracy against him.
Whatever the role of the NPA in an alleged political conspiracy, the fact remains that Jacob Zuma has a case to answer. As Judge Louis Harms of the Supreme Court of Appeal noted, in overturning the Pietermaritzburg High Court's 2008 verdict on Zuma's prosecution: "A prosecution is not wrongful merely because it is brought for an improper purpose. It will only be wrongful if, in addition, reasonable and probable grounds for prosecuting are absent".
There are strong grounds to continue with Jacob Zuma's prosecution for the 783 bribes he is alleged to have taken from Schabir Shaik. Shaik has already been convicted of bribing Zuma and, subsequent to Shaik's conviction, the NPA gained access to the originals of 13 key documents held by the Mauritian authorities. There is clearly a case against Zuma. It is therefore the NPA's duty and responsibility to prosecute, not to withdraw the prosecution to cover up its own wrongdoings.