The National Prosecuting Authority's integrity is on trial. We accept that it has said that the status quo regarding the Jacob Zuma trial remained.
This is to say that the prosecution is considering the submissions before it that ANC president Jacob Zuma may not be guilty of the crimes that authority had earlier said he had committed.
Let it be clear that Zuma is guilty of no crime. But if the prosecuting authority decides that the case that they had pursued with such vigour was a waste of time and money, then they will have a lot for which to answer.
The only way that the NPA can come close to saving face, should it drop the charges, would be if it lays open the reasons behind the decision to public scrutiny.
Otherwise, in the minds of many, they would not have done justice, Zuma or themselves any good.
The ANC president will carry another burden - false or not - that he used his influence to get charges against him withdrawn.
The administration of justice would have suffered irreparable harm. The NPA bosses will have to live with the shame of having bowed to political pressure.
Worse still, South Africa will have staggered ever closer to being regarded as yet another corrupt African country.