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What The High Court’s Decision Means Depends On Where You Stand

By BO Staff Writer

On 29 April 2016, the Pretoria High Court ruled that the decision to drop the 783 corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, by the then National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Mokotedi Mpshe was “irrational and should be reviewed”. The matter was brought to court by the Democratic Alliance (DA), a racist political party, which, like the white-owned South African media, perceives blacks as incapable and inherently corrupt. It must be pointed out that the DA, has to date not preferred any criminal charges of corruption against whites. Furthermore it is itself implicated in acts of corruption. Moreover, the very same DA is known to be part of the opposition parties’ regime change campaign in South Africa which is aimed at ensuring the further entrenchment and perpetuation of white supremacy and to this end the weakening of the BRICS process. Its basically the same process that is taking place in Brazil where corrupt regime change agents are on the verge of toppling the President under the pretext of fighting corruption.

The South African opinion is divided between the media sponsored view that is for regime change and the independent view that is wary of the London engineered state capture process. The regime change campaign has contrived a narrative that says “state capture” is the preserve of the Gupta family and the President is their agent. The intention of the regime change campaign is indicated in the slogans of the said campaign being “Guptas Must Go” and “Zuma Must Fall”. We saw, as a consequence of this campaign, major banks and an auditing firm imposing economic terrorism against the Gupta owned businesses.

The narrative of state capture by the Guptas is pushed despite it lacking any truth. The truth is that the South African state is captured by white capital which in turn is involved in illegal interference with the duties of the President in hiring and firing ministers. There is a criminal case opened by Black First Land First (BLF) against one of the wealthiest men in South Africa, Johann Rupert, and eight other white captains of industry for breaking the law in that they forced the ANC top leaders to force the President to fire his preferred Minister of Finance, Des van Rooyen, and hire the darling of white capital Pravin Gordhan.

Judge Ledwaba
Judge Aubrey Ledwaba found the decision to drop 783 charges against Jacob Zuma connected to the Arms Deal, “irrational”. Photo: AFP Photo/Herman Verwey

So what does the High Court decision mean for the State President? The answer really depends on where one stands on the regime change narrative. The lawyers are not neutral and to this end their comments must not be taken at face value. Those who are for regime change have not wasted a second to say that the decision means that the charges against President Zuma are “automatically reinstated.” According to the them, all the NDPP must now do is to say Zuma is charged and do nothing further. This sort of reasoning is with little basis and is at variance with the decision of the High Court.

The regime change interpretation of the High Court decision is aimed at political mobilisation against Zuma instead of being truthful to the application of the law they claim to respect. In this narrative, the “experts” go as far as not informing the public that President Zuma and the NDPP still have two more higher courts that they can appeal to. This is their right. In this context the legal process has not yet run its course.

In the regime change triumphalist narrative there is no reference to the fact that the 783 charges all relate to the Arms Deal and were actually laid and withdrawn against the President prior to him taking office. Furthermore, too many people are implicated in the Arms Deal including former President Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet. The inconvenient matter of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry which has recently found no one criminally responsible for any wrong doing in the Arms Deal matter is also totally ignored in the narrative.

Those who are wary of the abuse of the judiciary for the purposes of regime change have pointed out that the court decision does not automatically re-instate the charges against President Zuma. Actually, “(a) legal process involving state prosecuting authorities and the courts must reach a decision on whether to charge the president”. In fact the wording of the Court’s order in the case at hand is significantly different from the order given by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in “National Director of Public Prosecutions v Freedom Under Law (67/14) [2014] ZASCA 58 (17 April 2014)”, the Mdluli case, which the regime change interpretation relies on. In the Mdluli case the SCA held, inter alia, that, “(t)he setting aside of the withdrawal of the criminal charges and the disciplinary proceedings have the effect that the charges and the proceedings are automatically reinstated and it is for the executive authorities to deal with them.” The SCA then cautioned that the lower court, being the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, “went too far”. In this regard, the fact that the lower court had “…(a) ordered the NDPP to reinstate all the charges against Mdluli and to ensure that the prosecution of these charges are enrolled and pursued without delay; and (b) directed the Commissioner of Police to reinstate the disciplinary proceedings and to take all steps necessary for the prosecution and finalization of these proceedings”, was precisely what was considered by the SCA as going “too far”. This aspect of the lower court going “too far” is in relation to the case at hand totally ignored by the regime change agents and legal commentators.

Furthermore, the SCA in the Mdluli case agreed with the contention of the NDPP and the Commissioner of Police “that these mandatory interdicts” imposed by the lower court “were inappropriate transgressions of the separation of powers doctrine”. It must be stated that the SCA was at pains to maintain the separation of powers and therefore to avoid a situation where the court steps into the arena of the NDPP, thus serving both as judge and prosecutor at the same time. In this regard the SCA held that the doctrine of separation of powers, “precludes the courts from impermissibly assuming the functions that fall within the domain of the executive.” The SCA further pointed out that “(i)n terms of the Constitution the NDPP is the authority mandated to prosecute crime, while the Commissioner of Police is the authority mandated to manage and control the SAPS” and that “…the court will only be allowed to interfere with this constitutional scheme on rare occasions and for compelling reasons”. To this end the SCA was of the “view (that) this is not one of those rare occasions” and it could find “no compelling reason why the executive authorities should not be given the opportunity to perform their constitutional mandates in a proper way”.

Although the SCA in the Mdluli case effectively arrived at the same conclusion as that of the lower court it was nonetheless circumspect on the process of reinstating the initially withdrawn charges. These are the kinds of inconvenient points of law that the regime change agents do not want to hear of or canvass.

In the application brought by the DA in the North Gauteng High Court, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said that “(t)he decision… to discontinue the charges against Mr Zuma is irrational and should be reviewed”. This is significantly different from saying, as the SCA did in the Mdluli case, that “(t)he setting aside of the withdrawal of the criminal charges and the disciplinary proceedings have the effect that the charges and the proceedings are automatically reinstated”. There is still a lot of both political and legal foot work that must occur before the matter is decided. The NDPP may still refuse to prosecute on a different set of reasons which in its view are rational and could indeed be found to be rational if tested in law.

To avoid being lost in the noise of regime change one has to maintain the following:

1. The decision of the High Court doesn’t automatically mean reinstatement of the charges against President Zuma.
2. The Court did not and was not asked to pronounce on whether Zuma is guilty or not of corruption.
3. The NDPP and President Zuma may choose to appeal the decision at two higher courts (the SCA and the Constitutional Court).
4. The 783 charges relate to the Arms Deal. The Seriti Commission of Inquiry found no one criminally responsible with regards to the Arms Deal.
5. Zuma was not the President at the time of the Arms Deal. The President was Thabo Mbeki.
6. Regime change agents are misrepresenting the High Court decision for political reasons associated with preserving the white status quo because President Zuma is seen as no longer listening to the West.

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