SCA rules against Zuma and NPA in spy tapes appeal — Newsflash

File The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will on Friday hand down judgment in the spy tape saga

File The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will on Friday hand down judgment in the spy tape saga

On Friday 13 October 2017, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) rejected, with costs, President Jacob Zuma's appeal to get charges against him dropped in the South African President's extended battle to avoid prosecution for fraud and corruption.

It agreed with a lower court ruling a year ago that prosecutors could bring back 783 charges relating to a 1999 multi-million dollar arms deal.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane - who says President Jacob Zuma's legal bills have cost South African taxpayers about R30 million already - has given prosecuting boss Shaun Abrahams a 10-day deadline.

The president has always maintained his innocence.

Zuma and other government officials were accused of taking kickbacks from the $5 billion (4.2 billion euros) purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and other arms manufactured by 5 European firms, including British military equipment maker BAE Systems and French company Thales. The ball is now in the NPA's court to decide whether it goes ahead and charges Zuma.

Charges were first brought against Mr Zuma in 2005 but dropped by prosecutors in 2009.

The SCA found that the decision to drop the charges was borne from undue political considerations and‚ therefore‚ irrational.

"But what we should be looking at, there is no way that this country can trust the NPA, which is compromised by the virtue of of the fact that they joined Zuma to appeal, which means that they are not willing to prosecute".

But the so-called "spy tapes" have never been made public, and opposition parties have fought in the courts to have the corruption charges reinstated.

In another scandal, Zuma was forced to reimburse some state money after the Constitutional Court ruled against him previous year in a dispute over millions of dollars spent on his private home.

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