npa seeks to appeal nicholson ruling

Sowetan Reporter and Sapa

Sowetan Reporter and Sapa

The National Prosecuting Authority filed papers in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday seeking leave to appeal against the judgment handed down by Judge Chris Nicholson last month.

On September 12 Nicholson ruled in favour of ANC president Jacob Zuma's application to have the decision by the Scorpions to charge him declared unlawful.

In his judgment, Nicholson said acting national director of public prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, should have obtained representation from Zuma before deciding to charge him.

Zuma faced a charge each of racketeering and money laundering, two charges of corruption and 12 charges of fraud related to the multibillion-rand government arms deal.

Zuma was charged in 2005, but that case was struck from the roll in 2006. He was recharged in December 2007.

Last week former president Thabo Mbeki lodged an application in the Constitutional Court challenging the remark made by Judge Nicholson inferring that Mbeki and some of his cabinet ministers had interfered in the NPA's decision to prosecute Zuma.

In his application Mbeki said Nicholson's remarks had led to his recalling by the ANC's national executive committee. Mbeki argued that the comments were unfair and undermined his constitutional right to dignity. He said if Nicholson knew he was going to make remarks about him, he should have afforded him the opportunity to be present or even make representation.

Mbeki described the comments as "vexatious and unfounded" and has called for them to be removed from Nicholson's ruling.

During his farewell address to the nation last Sunday, Mbeki vehemently denied having interfered with the work of the NPA.