Zuma loses bid to appeal high court's ruling in graft trial but can still petition SCA
Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma has lost an application for leave to appeal the Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment, but he still has an option to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn the Friday’s ruling, said law expert Mpumelelo Zikalala.
Zikalala of the Zikalala Attorneys said if the supreme court also dismissed the Zuma and his co-accused French arms manufacturing company Thales’s petition they could still launch another petition to the Constitutional Court to hear their appeal.
Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela said his boss’s lawyer would read the high court judgment and take the decision.
In less than a minute ruling, Judge Bhekisisa Nguni said “application is dismissed with costs. This court is adjourned”.
Zikalala had before the judgment told Independent Media that Zuma and Thale’s prospects of winning the application to appeal were very slim. But he said they would still be able to petition the higher courts.
“From the manner in which they (on November 22) were attacking the arguments (of Zuma’s lawyers) you could get a sense that they do not agree with them. They do not feel that there are prospects of success.
“Your can still go to the Supreme Court of Appeals and say to them ‘your fellow judges in the High Court have not allowed me, please look at my papers, if you see that there are merits and prospects of success please hear my matter’.
“If they are also of the opinion that the chances of appeal are not there you can still go to the Constitutional Court and say judges ‘this is what I have please look at my matter, if you that there are merits please grant me the appeal,” he said.
Zikalala said if the Constitutional Court says no, Zuma and Thales will unfortunately have to come back to the high court to stand stand trial.
Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance welcomed the court's decision.
DA spokeswoman on justice Glynnis Breytenbach said despite his insistence that he would like to have his day in court, the former president has done everything to avoid it.
"The DA is encouraged by the ruling of the court today, as it reaffirms our belief that Jacob Zuma should eventually have to face his day in court. We look forward to seeing this matter finally moving towards conclusion," she said.