Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP PHOTO
Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP PHOTO

THE Constitutional Court has found that it will not be in the interest of justice for it to hear the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) application for leave to appeal the “spy tapes” judgment handed down by the High Court in Pretoria.

The court dismissed the NPA’s application on September 28, according to the order.

The NPA approached SA’s highest court, while President Jacob Zuma approached the Supreme Court of Appeal. Zuma has filed his answering affidavit in the Supreme Court of Appeal matter.

However, the Constitutional Court could still be approached — by Zuma or anyone else — if there are other constitutional issues to be argued.

Earlier this year a full bench of three judges found that the 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma was irrational.

In June, Zuma and the NPA were refused leave to appeal against the “spy tapes” judgment, with the High Court saying there were no reasonable prospects that an appeal would be successful.

The DA said on Friday that the attempt to appeal the judgment at the Constitutional Court highlighted the “deliberate attempts” by Zuma and the NPA to do everything possible to delay the President having his day in court.

“We are confident that the SCA will come to a similar conclusion [to the Constitutional Court],” the party’s federal executive chairman, James Selfe, said.

“It is time for Jacob Zuma, and his captured institutions of State, to stop delaying the inevitable.”

He said Zuma, like every other South African charged with a crime, had to have his day in court and answer for the 783 charges against him, as the constitutional principle of the rule of law depended on it.

The case has been going on since 2009, when former acting prosecutions head Mokotedi Mpshe announced his decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma. His decision was based on what has become known as the “spy tapes” — recordings of conversations between then Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and Bulelani Ngcuka, the erstwhile prosecutions head.

The recordings appeared to suggest that the timing of the indictment against Zuma was manipulated to influence the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in Polokwane, where he was elected president.

Mpshe said at the time this was an abuse of the legal process and it would be “unconscionable” for a trial to continue.

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