Former president Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday filed his responding affidavit to papers filed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) opposing his bid in the Constitutional Court.
Tuesday was the deadline for Mbeki’s lawyers to reply to the NPA, which is opposing his appeal against parts of Pietermaritzburg high court judge Chris Nicholson’s ruling.
Nicholson ruled on September 12 that he could not exclude the possibility of political interference in the decision to charge ANC president Jacob Zuma with fraud and corruption. Mbeki is appealing against “certain findings” by Nicholson in the judgment that also found the prosecution of Zuma on racketeering, money-laundering, corruption and fraud charges was invalid.
Mbeki is asking the Constitutional Court to order that the High Court “ought not to have made findings of and concerning” him “without having afforded him a hearing” and that these findings “constitute a violation of his rights”. He wants these “unfair and unjust” findings set aside.
But Zuma and the NPA opposed his application. In his responding affidavit, Mbeki, among other things, denied Zuma’s suggestion that his application was “fundamentally flawed”.
The essence of the case was primarily about the findings made by Nicholson concerning Mbeki, members of the National Executive and the National Executive as a collective.
“It is about the violation of constitutional rights and principles. It relates to the fact that I (ie in my personal capacity, in my capacity as President of the Republic of South Africa, in my representative capacity as Head of the National Executive, and as a person acting in the public interest) was not given the opportunity to be heard with respect to the findings and conclusions that underpinned the decision arrived at in the Court a quo,” he said.
The application further related to whether the National Executive or Mbeki politically interfered in the decisions taken by those holding the office of NDPP. It related to questions of jurisdiction, to matters concerning policy and to the violation by Nicholson of the principle of the separation of powers. “In the circumstances, any suggestion by the first respondent [Zuma] that the application is fundamentally flawed is denied.”