Zuma and Prosecutors finally to face Charges in High Court on 16 March

As things stand, the DA will see President Zuma in the North Gauteng High Court on the 16th of March to review – unopposed – the decision to drop corruption charges against him.For the past five years, President Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority have proven to be masters at delaying the legal process to avoid going to court to answer 16 charges and more than 700 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering against the President.In the most recent example, the NPA (which is supposed to apply the law without fear or favour) have twice ignored deadlines – agreed with our lawyers – for handing in answering affidavits in our application to review the decision to drop the charges before the 2009 election. Both the first deadline (19 January) and the second extended deadline (2 February) have come and gone with no sign of their affidavit.

This is yet another deliberate delaying tactic that aims to allow President Zuma to finish his second term as President without ever having to account for these charges. The NPA’s job is to hold anyone to account against whom there is evidence of illegal activity, not to protect the powerful. The implications of the NPA’s filibustering are grave for the future of our democracy and, cynically, it will use taxpayers’ money to fund their actions that undermine our constitution and the rule of law.

h3. Legal Proceedings

The DA is determined to put an end to this cynical ducking and diving. We are going to block every loophole they find to delay the process. Our counter strategy is to use a procedure available in the North Gauteng High Court called a Practice Directive.In the case of a non-responsive party, a Practice Directive allows you to enrol an Opposed matter on the Unopposed Roll for adjudication. A judge can then make a ruling without hearing the NPA’s case, which they are clearly reluctant to provide.On Thursday, 5 February, the DA enrolled its application to review the dropping of corruption charges against President Zuma on the Unopposed Roll, for hearing in the North Gauteng High Court on 16 March 2015. It is now up to the respondents to have the case be treated as an Opposed matter. Should they be jolted into action through this Practice Directive and urgently file their affidavit, it will be dealt with on the Opposed Roll, and we will request a date as soon as possible.

So whether President Zuma and the NPA decide to oppose our review application or not, we will have an imminent date on which the case will appear before a judge. For now, that date is 16 March 2015.This will be our seventh court appearance on this matter since June 2010, but the President and his lawyers must surely recognise that they have now all but run out of options to delay justice. And they must stop abusing taxpayers’ money to do so.Despite these transparent delaying tactics, we have heard, for almost a decade now, that President Zuma would “like to have his day in court” to clear his name. No-one believes him anymore. We know he will do everything possible to avoid his day in court. And the DA will not allow the politically powerful to place themselves above the law.

We are very pleased to inform both the NPA and the President that they can now mark the 16th of March on his calendar with a permanent marker.

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