Appeals to go to Constitutional Court, says lawyer

Eric Naki and sapa

Eric Naki and sapa

The fight between Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority is far from over.

And the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal against Zuma yesterday fuelled support for the embattled ANC deputy president.

The Appeal Court upheld an NPA appeal against a Durban high court order setting aside a total of five search warrants against Zuma and his lawyer Michael Hulley. Yesterday's ruling opens the door for the NPA to formulate new charges against Zuma as they continue to investigate his involvement in the arms deal.

Hulley said they would approach the Constitutional Court to lodge an appeal against the decision, saying it has constitutional imperatives that impact on Zuma's rights and all South Africans.

"An application will be made for leave to appeal against the judgements to the Constitutional Court," said Hulley.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said the ruling means a path has been cleared for the Scorpions to speed up investigations against Zuma and French arms firm, Thint, in Mauritius and Britain.

The Appeal Court dismissed an appeal by Zuma and Thint to stop the state from getting documents being held in Mauritius which the NPA wanted for any pending investigations against the two parties.

It upheld an appeal by the National Director of Public Prosecutions against a high court order setting aside five search warrants against Zuma and his Durban-based attorney, Hulley, saying they were issued intelligibly and with certainty. A minority judgment agreed with the Durban court the warrants were invalid because they did not intelligibly convey the ambit of the search.

The court also dismissed the appeal brought by Thint to set aside similar warrants for their Pretoria head office, and dismissed an appeal against a high court order to hand all seized material back to Zuma's Gauteng-based attorney, Juleka Mahomed.

Hulley said how the NPA proceeded would be keenly watched in the belief that the investigation had "improper political motives".

"The timing and nature of the charges, should these eventuate, will be reflective as to whether such motives still exist," he said.

Zuma has received support for party president and some believe the investigations were a ploy to remove him from the running. Hulley said their next move would be to approach the Constitutional Court