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

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While the Supreme Court of Appeal is expected to confirm that the decision to withdraw the 783 criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma was, in fact, irrational, the real question is how the court will guide the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on the way forward.

The long-standing matter was brought by the DA.

Earlier on Friday morning SCA Justice Eric Leach upheld the High Court's decision to withdraw 783 charges of corruption and fraud against Zuma was irrational, saying that the decision to terminate the decision not to prosecute cannot be faulted.

This story will be updated as soon as the SCA's full judgment is available.

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Reinstating the charges could undermine the campaign of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president's preferred successor for the leadership of the ANC in December, and possibly lead to him leaving the national presidency before his term ends in 2019, according to Susan Booysen, a political science professor at the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Governance.

The opposition Democratic Alliance party had sought in 12 court appearances since 2009 to reactivate the charges over controversial post-apartheid military contracts which have dogged Zuma for much of his time in government.

At the hearing, Kemp said "what then must happen is that the representations would have to be considered by the NPA, because they have never been". But not before the NPA's legal counsel conceded that Mphse had "used the wrong power" to withdraw charges against Zuma.

Machirunga said that in the event that the judge rejects the appeal, but the NPA chooses not to continue with prosecution, then in his opinion the only remaining remedy would be a private prosecution. In April past year, the North Gauteng High Court ordered that Zuma must face all the charges.

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