President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were likely to approach a higher court after the high court in Pretoria refused the right to appeal the “spy tapes” ruling. This is according to political analyst Ralph Mathekga, who said the Constitutional Court – the highest court in the land – was unlikely to dismiss leave to appeal.
“There is no precedent on this matter,” Mathekga told Saturday Citizen yesterday.
“The Constitutional Court was most likely to have a final say on the matter because it has constitutional implications.”
He suggested that some ANC leaders would use the spy tapes as yet more evidence that Zuma needed to step down.
A constitutional law expert, Shadrack Gutto, believes that it is going be difficult for another court to reverse the judgment that has been made by the high court.
“I don’t think there is any prospect of winning,” Gutto said.
“I don’t think there are any other options left for Zuma.”
Gutto said Zuma should prepare himself to face the courts.
The DA went to court to try to have more than 780 dropped charges of corruption against Zuma reinstated. The opposition party said it was pleased that Zuma and the NPA application for leave to appeal in the matter was dismissed.
“This is a victory for the rule of law and due process and upholds the principle that no man is or should be above the law,” DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said.
“On this basis the prosecution against President Jacob must proceed and he must have his day in court, as he has always claimed he wanted.
“The charges are in fact automatically reinstated and the NPA must give President Zuma a date by which he is to appear in court.”
Selfe said that in the absence of any legitimate factual or legal reasons, the DA was led to believe that the charges were dropped to serve a political agenda.
“It would have been for President Zuma to argue that he was being prosecuted for malicious political reasons and for a competent court to decide on the merits of such representations,” he said.
“It was not for the NPA, acting at the president’s behest, to simply drop the charges without legal basis.”
Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota said he welcomed the court decision.
“President Zuma has always said he wanted his day in court,” Lekota said.
Lekota said there was no way there could be order in the country because Zuma was above the law.
“This failure to hold the president accountable is part of the reason South Africa is plagued by this disease of not respecting the law,” said Lekota.
Additional reporting by AFP