Zuma says decisions taken by the NPA to prosecute him are 'irrational' and 'unlawful'
Former president Jacob Zuma has argued in papers filed at the Constitutional Court that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has made “irrational and unlawful' decisions relating to his prosecution.
Zuma has approached the apex court to seek leave to appeal against a KwaZulu-Natal High Court decision to try him for prosecution.
The Supreme Court of Appeal last month dismissed Zuma’s attempts to challenge that decision without even hearing argument on the case, on the basis that his appeal bid had no reasonable prospects of success.
French arms manufacturer Thales has also applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal against the reinstatement of corruption charges against it.
The company is accused of bribing Zuma two decades ago, when he was deputy president.
Thales is accused of agreeing to pay Zuma an annual R500,000 bribe for protection from an investigation into the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma's former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
In his affidavit filed at the Constitutional Court in March, Zuma has argued that the NPA had, since 2003 made “irrational and unlawful” decisions relating to his prosecution.
“There is ample evidence from law reports of judicial remarks made in exasperation over these decisions made at different times by the NPA."
He argued that the KwaZulu-Natal High Court had failed “dismally” to do what it had been called to do: to evaluate the conduct and decisions of the NPA.
“The full court was called upon to determine, in light of the mandatory constitutional and mandatory provisions governing the exercise of prosecutional powers by the NPA, whether the NPA's conduct was of so egregious in nature as to compromise the achievement of a trial in my prosecution,” Zuma argued.
Zuma argued that it was in the interests of justice that he be granted leave to appeal because he had raised constitutional issues in his application.
“There is a significant prospect that the constitutional issues raised will be favourably considered by this court.”
William Downer, a senior deputy director of public prosecutions, argued that Zuma's case based on the “conspiracy” theories he had set out in his application, lacked a legal foundation.
“That is because Mr Zuma's prosecution remains perfectly lawful even if it were to be politically motivated.”
He argued that there were no factors connected with the interests of justice that justify granting of leave to appeal despite the prospects of reasonable success.
Downer said the state was ready to proceed with its case against Zuma.