Former president Jacob Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution would be based on four pillars, his new counsel Mike Hellens SC told the court yesterday shortly after announcing their plans to abandon the decision to apply for a review of the charges against him.
Hellens said these “pillars” included a delay in charging and in going to trial and significant pre-trial irregularities in the investigation by the National Prosecuting Authority.
He added that the two most “ominous” issues would be centred on the spying and “eavesdropping” on Zuma, referring to the Browse Mole report and the so-called spy tapes; and, secondly, “executive interference with prosecutorial independence”.
Hellens said after consulting with Zuma, they decided making an application for a permanent stay would have “greater prospects of success”.
“The previous legal team stood at a crossroads considering a review of the matter. We decided a review was not needed and discarded that matter. It’s not viable and it is not what Mr Zuma chooses,” Hellens told Deputy Chief Justice Isaac Madondo who is presiding over the matter.
French arms dealer Thales said they also intend to apply for a permanent stay of prosecution. However it also emerged yesterday that the State intends adding another charge to the indictment against them.