Perception is that justice has been derailed
"The law should always run its course. In this case, the perception is that justice has been derailed," said NNP spokesperson on justice Carol Johnson in a statement on Saturday.
"The number of allegations, counter-allegations and accusations surrounding the Scorpions investigation into Deputy President Zuma did South Africa an injustice. But we still hoped that the matter would be resolved in such a way that we could have closure on the matter and that justice would ultimately be done," she said.
"Yet despite the fact that the investigation team has said they have enough evidence for a prima facie case of corruption against Deputy President Zuma, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka, has allegedly decided not to prosecute," said Johnson.
Ngcuka admits prima facie case
"The NNP fails to understand why Advocate Nqcuka has gone against the recommendation of his own investigation team. His argument that their prospects of success in a criminal case are not strong, is no reason whatsoever to decide not to prosecute. All the law requires for a prosecution is a prima facie case ? which the investigation team says they have," she said.
Ngcuka had earlier said: "We have concluded that, whilst there is a prima facie case of corruption against the deputy president, our prospects of success are not strong enough.
"That means that we are not sure if we have a winnable case. Accordingly, we have decided not to prosecute the deputy president."
The decision could be reviewed should new evidence arise, he said.
Cloud of suspicion will hang over Zuma?s head
Johnson said: "What has happened to the concept of due process? A decision not to prosecute is not in the deputy president's best interest ? all it now means is that the cloud of suspicion continues to hang over his head. And the perception will live on in the minds of people that the Director of Public Prosecutions buckled under political pressure.
"The NNP urges the Director of Public Prosecutions to explain why he has decided against his own team's recommendation. He owes South Africa an explanation. We also urge him, in the interest of justice, to reconsider the matter. This decision is not in the deputy president, or South Africa's, best interest," said Johnson.
Democratic Alliance's Sheila Camerer said the decision not to prosecute Zuma reflected badly on the reputation of South Africa's legal system.
"Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka has been subjected to unbearable political pressure over the past weeks.
"The DA's objections to placing ANC (African National Congress) politicians in positions like that of the director of the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions ? positions that are required by the Constitution to be completely independent and impartial ? seem fully justified," Camerer said in a statement.
DA sees improper interference
Camerer said: "The president became involved, the African National Congress was deeply involved and so was Mr (Cyril) Ramaphosa. The so called 'plea bargain' ? mooted before Mr Ramaphosa's visit with Mr Ngcuka ? has now come about, clearly pointing to Mr Ramaphosa's involvement despite his claims to the contrary.
"All of this constituted improper interference with the judicial process and now casts a blight over the decision not to prosecute the deputy president," said Camerer.
ANC member Cyril Ramaphosa had previously said he had been asked to mediate in the ongoing arms deal dispute. Last Sunday he announced he would not play any role in the saga.
"The investigation process should have been impeccable but it was not. The suspicion will linger that ANC big wigs are somehow above the law and that the minnows like Tony Yengeni and Schabir Shaik are 'fall guys'," she said.
Ngcuka also announced that Zuma's personal financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, would be charged with various counts of corruption, fraud, theft of company assets, tax evasion and reckless trading. The Nkobi group of companies, of which Shaik is a director, and French arms company Thomson CSF would be prosecuted for contraventions of the Companies Act.
Shaik would appear in a Durban court on Monday. Issues around the declaration of gifts and donations received by Zuma would be referred to Parliament for its consideration.