The Supreme Court handed down judgment on Friday morning in the eight-year-long spy tapes saga, ruling against President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The President went to Bloemfontein in September to appeal a High Court order which set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw the charges against the President. However, the parties conceded in court that the decision was in fact unlawful and asked the full bench on the direction in what steps to take next.
The Midday Report stand-in host, Ray White spoke to Barry Bateman, Senior EWN reporter about this.
Bateman reports that there were two main threads that came through in the judgment. He says the first relates to the High Court ruling of the full bench earlier this year, reaffirming what the High Court had found, that the decision by former Acting NPA Head Mokotedi Mpshe back in 2009 was irrational.
Going over the various reasons for it. For example; it's all relating to these spy tapes, the conversations between Leonard McCarthy and Bulelani Ngcuka and various parties. And the perceptions that was held that this amounted to political interference in the decision to prosecute President Zuma. Essentially rejecting all of that.— Barry Bateman, Senior EWN reporter
Saying that even the conversations as they were, as read in the transcript by these judges do not show the grand conspiracy that was claimed. On that basis it is irrational.— Barry Bateman, Senior EWN reporter
The timing of the serving of the indictment in 2007 could never have been done before the Polokwane Conference because the indictment wasn't ready to be served, he adds. He explains that even if they wanted to serve it before it would have been impossible owing to various factors at the time.
The second aspect looks at the concessions that were made by the council of the NPA and President Zuma that the provision in law which Mpshe relied upon to review the decision to prosecute wasn't supported by law. He couldn't have done that, therefore it stands that the decision to withdraw the prosecution be set aside.— Barry Bateman, Senior EWN reporter
As we stand now, we have a President who is an accused in a criminal trial, reports Bateman.
He adds that it is now up to the NPA to draft a fresh indictment, serve to him so that he can get his day in court.
Bateman notes that what we have to question is the grounds on which the President will make fresh representation.
What has come through the courts and what is accepted is that the case against President Zuma is strong, it is sound and ready to go to trial.— Barry Bateman, Senior EWN reporter
Listen to Barry Bateman's full report in the clip below: