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Spy types: ANC stands behind Zuma as opposition reacts to ruling

Spy types: ANC stands behind Zuma as opposition reacts to ruling

The African National Congress (ANC) has played down the North Gauteng High Court’s ruling to have corruption charges reinstated against President Jacob Zuma, in relation to the so-called spy tapes saga.

On Friday, Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba found that former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Head, Mokotedi Mpshe, acted irrationally by opting to withdraw all 783 charges of fraud and racketing against Zuma in 2009, following representations made shortly before he was elected President.

Leaked telephone recordings between then Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka, however showed that politics played a role in the final decision to charge Zuma, who was acquitted by the Durban High Court on April sixth of that year.

“Today's judgment was solely a judicial review of an administrative action taken by the NPA as allowed for in our law. We trust that it shall therefore not be used by any in our society to infer any culpability in any crime or offence by the President,” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

“This matter has dragged on for close to a decade and the ANC is pleased therefore that it now appears closer to resolution, seven years since the NPA decision. We once again reaffirm our full confidence in our legal system with its adequate and extensive checks and balances designed to protect and promote accountability and transparency”.

Opposition parties have meanwhile welcomed the court’s ruling with Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane describing it as an “overwhelming victory for the Rule of Law”.

“The NPA must now immediately continue with the 783 charges of corruption so that President Zuma can finally have his day in court,” Maimane said in a statement.

“Despite it being an absolute outrage that President Zuma has, for almost six years, used taxpayer’s money to bankroll his opposition to the release of the Spy Tapes, he will be held to account as the law and due process demand”.

Congress of the People (Cope) President Mosiuoa Lekota stated that the ruling must act an incentive for current NPA Head Shaun Abrahams to take the matter further, while Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Eyewitness News that “this time, he must not run away. We appeal that the charges must be instituted with immediate effect”.

Presidency spokesperson Bongani Majola has since confirmed that Zuma had noted the ruling and would act in due course.