While the DA was righteous in its Constitutional Court victory over the National Prosecuting Authority, analysts appeared indifferent and the NPA itself didn’t seem bothered.
In a judgment handed down, the Constitutional Court dismissed the NPA’s application to appeal a high court ruling which reinstated 783 criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma. Constitutional Court expert Pierre de Vos said the ruling by the court wasn’t particularly noteworthy.
“It practically means nothing because there’s still the application to the Supreme Court of Appeal [by Zuma].” If Zuma’s attempt to get that court to hear his appeal failed, then he could also approach the Constitutional Court, said Vos.
The ruling states: “The Constitutional Court has considered this application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that it is not in the interests of justice for this court to hear the matter at this stage.” Director for the Institute for Accountability Paul Hoffman said the Constitutional Court’s ruling was “not unexpected”.
Hoffman said the lack of detail could mean one of two things: that it was just a “bad appeal application” or that the highest court was waiting to see what the Supreme Court of Appeal was going to do.
“In so far as the interest of justice is concerned, it is possible the Constitutional Court wants to see the outcome of the SCA. “If he doesn’t get any joy in the SCA … within [what I believe will be] a month, then Zuma has a further appeal to the Constitutional Court.
“I think he will be discouraged by the outcome of the NPA appeal but that it won’t stop him … he’ll just continue to do it to bide time indefinitely,” said Hoffman. NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku appeared unphased.
He said it was clear from the ruling and how it had been “couched” that the court was waiting for the lower court to make its decision first.