National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams has announced that the authority will be appealing the High Court ruling which deemed the dismissal of 783 charges of corruption against president Jacob Zuma irrational.
Abrahams was speaking at a press briefing on the case, held on Monday (23 May 2016).
After much consideration – and after obtaining legal advice from senior counsel – Abrahams said that the ramifications of the ruling were far-reaching, and impacted every prosecution in the country.
“I believe it needs the decision of an appeal court,” he said.
Abrahams said he was aware of his decision and how it would resonate in the various sectors of society – he was aware of the calls for the Court ruling to stand, but added that he faced equal calls for the decision to be reversed.
“No decision will please all of the people – but it’s not my job to make everyone happy,” Abrahams said.
“I will always do what is correct, irrespective of whether the individual is an ordinary person, a cabinet minister or a sitting president,” he said.
In April, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that former NPA head, Mokotedi Mpshe, acted impulsively and irrationally when he decided to drop the charges of corruption laid against president Jacob Zuma in 2009.
In a write-up following the ruling, legal expert Pierre de Vos said that the NPA does not have many options to it, noting that the ruling made it clear – in no uncertain terms – that “Mr Zuma should face the charges as outlined in the indictment”.
According to De Vos, if it did not reinstate the charges, the only other option open to the NPA was to appeal.
Following the initial High Court ruling, the Democratic Alliance, while celebrating that victory, said that it fully expected the NPA to appeal the decision, and said that the matter would ultimately end up at the Constitutional Court.