South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has upheld a High Court ruling that reinstated corruption charges against president Jacob Zuma.
This follows an application by the president and the National prosecuting Authority (NPA) against the High Court order – which set aside the decision to withdraw charges against Zuma.
The High Court in April 2016 ruled that the 2009 decision to withdraw the 783 charges was irrational and should be set aside, which had the automatic effect of the charges being reinstated against the president.
This SCA judgement has been seen by many analysts and legal experts as the final note in the eight year long saga, during which the President himself admitted it was an irrational decision to withdraw the charges of corruption against him.
President Zuma and the NPA have also been ordered to pay the costs of the failed application.
No further dates have been set as to when the president or NPA will institute action based on the 783 charges.
The Presidency said in a statement that the NPA could now make a “legitimate” decision on whether or not to prosecute Zuma.
“The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the then Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) had invoked the incorrect provisions in considering President Jacob Zuma’s representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). As such, the decision made to discontinue the prosecution against President Zuma is invalid,” it said.
“The effect of the decision is that the only legitimate decision made by the NPA is to prosecute President Zuma. Importantly, it means that the representations have not been considered and the expectation is that the NDPP will now consider these representations under the correct prescripts of the law and make a legitimate decision relating thereto.
“Any person has the right to make such representations and an expectation that a legitimate decision will be made.
“These representations will be amplified in light of developments in the ensuing period, not least of all are the recent revelations around the integrity of the audit report which underpins the prosecution.”