Many are led to believe that the ruling by the the North Gauteng High Court yesterday means that President Zuma automatically faces charges initially brought against him. This is not true.
There are no charges against President Zuma as things are. The court did not deal with the merits or allegations against Zuma. What it dealt with instead is the ‘administrative action taken by the NPA as allowed for in our law.’
It must not be forgotten that the NPA’s decision not to proceed with the case falls within it’s powers as provided by the NPA act. Because of those constitutional powers, the NPA has a right to decide whether to proceed or not even after the ruling was handed down.
As stated in the judgement itself that: … ‘this Court, for the reasons stated above, finds that the decision of 1 April 2009 by Mr Mpshe to discontinue the prosecution of the case against Mr Zuma is irrational and should be reviewed and set aside…’, the role of the court was only to perform a judicial review on the decision of the NPA.
It must be noted that there is no order from the court to recharged President Zuma. What the court instead did, as stated in the judgement that: …‘We (the court) are constrained to state that said technical argument was not raised in the papers and it cannot render the order we are to make herein inept and ineffective…’, is to allow the NPA to make its own determination based on evidence it has as to whether to proceed or not.
Another very important aspect of this ruling is the fact that the court only relied on the evidence presented before it by the applicant. The NPA relied on its own evidence and can still argue in court as to why they should not proceed with the case. It is very likely that this is what it is going to do next.
We must also remember that this case had already been stricken from the roll by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Division of the High Court in September 2007. The NPA then rushed to re-charge Zuma in November 2007 just before the ANC’s Electoral Conference scheduled for 16 to 20 December 2007 at Polokwane. It is believed, as appeared in court papers, that this move was aimed at ensuring that Zuma did not stand to be elected.