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Zuma turns to ConCourt in final bid to halt prosecution

Publish date: 30 March 2020
Issue Number: 866
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers launched a Constitutional Court challenge to a decision by the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) to dismiss his application for a permanent stay of prosecution in his long-running corruption matter. According to a report by legal writer Karyn Maughan in Business Day, Zuma now argues that three High Court judges failed to address the ‘constitutional violations’ he has suffered at the hands of the NPA and insists he has a ‘reasonable prospect of success’ of convincing the Constitutional Court of his appeal arguments. Zuma contends that the conduct of the NPA was ‘so egregious’ in its deviation from the provisions of the Constitution and prosecutorial laws and policies that ‘it should be disqualified from performing my prosecution’. He continues to insist that he has no prospect of receiving a fair trial if he is prosecuted by the NPA. Three High Court judges in 2019 dismissed Zuma’s arguments that his prosecution had been fatally tainted by undue delay, prosecutorial misconduct and political interference, and found that the ‘seriousness of the offences that Mr Zuma is facing far outweighs any prejudice which he claims he will suffer if the trial proceeds’. More than two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma’s attempt to overturn the High Court’s decision, after finding that his arguments did not have any reasonable prospect of success. That decision would have cleared the way for Zuma to go on trial as soon as May. But, in court papers, Zuma now argues that the highest court should hear his appeal because of the ‘constitutional violations’ committed by the NPA in the 15-year-old case against him.

Full Business Day report (subscription needed)