There is “no basis” for the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to appeal the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling on ANC president Jacob Zuma, Cosatu said on Wednesday.

While the NPA had the legal and constitutional right to appeal, the Congress of SA Trade Unions saw no basis for an appeal.

The federation said in a statement that it viewed this decision as a desperate attempt to drag out for many more months the already excessively long legal proceedings against Zuma.

The decision was also an attempt to “save the faces of themselves and government leaders who quite correctly came in for serious criticism from the judge for political interference in legal processes”.

“The NPA’s decision is yet more evidence that, as Judge [Chris] Nicholson noted, it is they, and not the ANC president, who are primarily responsible for the long time that this case has dragged on.”

Cosatu’s central executive committee would meet next week to discuss the implications of Nicholson’s ruling and the way forward in the campaign to have all the charges against Zuma permanently withdrawn.