Mpshe's decision to stop Zuma’s prosecution was irrational: DA
The decision in 2009 by Mokotedi Mpshe‚ then acting national director of public prosecutions‚ to discontinue the prosecution of President Jacob Zuma was irrational.This was a submission by the Democratic Alliance before the full Bench of the high court in Pretoria on Friday.The DA was opposing an application for leave to appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) an April judgment that set aside Mpshe’s decision to discontinue Zuma’s prosecution on numerous counts of corruption and racketeering.The DA wants the court to dismiss the application and for the NPA and Zuma‚ who is part of the application‚ to pay the party’s costs.Mpshe discontinued the prosecution of Zuma because he believed the Scorpions boss‚ Leonard McCarthy‚ had manipulated the timing of when to serve the indictment against Zuma.Mpshe relied on intercepted conversations‚ commonly referred to as the spy tapes‚ between McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka.In these conversations Ngcuka and McCarthy discussed whether Thabo Mbeki’s prospects to be re-elected as ANC president would be strengthened if the indictment against Zuma were to be served before‚ during or after the ANC’s elective conference in Polokwane in December 2007.Zuma‚ who was elected ANC president‚ was charged after the conference.Mpshe's decision was set aside in April this year by three judges headed by Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba. David Borgström‚ advocate for the DA‚ said what was required to stay the prosecution was quite exceptional.Borgström said although Mpshe was satisfied that there was a strong case against Zuma‚ he placed more weight on McCarthy’s manipulation of the process of when to serve the indictment on Zuma. He added that Mpshe had not weighed up the competing interests.“On the one plate of the scale was the fact there was compelling evidence against (Zuma). On the other hand‚ he looked at abuse (by McCarthy). There was no attempt by Mpshe to say how these two weighed against each other.”Borgström said Mpshe did not give McCarthy an opportunity to respond to the allegations of manipulation.“This is a procedural irregularity. On this basis alone‚ the order that was granted by this court (in April 2016) was justified‚” Borgström said.He said nowhere in the transcripts was an instruction given to McCarthy as to the timing of when to serve the indictment.“What the transcripts show is a conversation of two friends. This notion of political instruction is simply not there.”He also said if McCarthy’s motives were so bad‚ why was nothing done about it.Borgström said Mpshe was the one who decided when to serve the indictment.The court reserved judgment. - TMG Digital..