File picture: Independent Media
Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court of Appeal's decision to hear the appeal from both President Jacob Zuma and that of the National Prosecuting Authority against the reinstatement of 783 criminal charges against him, on the same day.

The court gave Zuma and the NPA until June 5, to file their heads of argument.

They DA will have until July 3 to file an answering affidavit. "The DA is pleased that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has acceded to our request to consolidate the arguments from both the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and President Jacob Zuma into a single hearing on their applications to appeal the 2016 North Gauteng High Court ruling that set aside the decision to drop the 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against President Zuma," the party said.

James Selfe, the chairman of the federal executive of the DA, said a single hearing date would ensure "that not a single day further is wasted before the SCA can make a final judgement on this matter.

"Hearing the two appeals together will also minimise the waste of judicial resources."

The Democratic Alliance has for eight years been waging a court battle to overturn the decision by the then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Mokotedi Mpshe, to drop the graft charges of stemming from the 1999 arms deal against Zuma. Mpshe's decision came shortly before national elections and helped to smooth Zuma's path to the presidency.

The North Gauteng High Court held last year that Zuma "should face the charges as outlined in the indictment". Both the president and the NPA then approached the Supreme Court of Appeal.

"While this legal battle to hold President Zuma accountable for the 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against him has been ongoing for close to a decade now, it is still far from over," Selfe said.

"However, the SCA’s agreement to the DA’s request brings us a step closer to ensuring justice can run its course and that Jacob Zuma will finally face up to the charges against him."