South Africa's state prosecutors say they will appeal a court ruling that could have opened the way to corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

The decision Monday by Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority, is a reprieve for Zuma, who faces a separate scandal over state spending on his private home.

Abrahams says his prosecution office is independent and that an appeals court should address the matter. The political opposition says state prosecutors are trying to shield Zuma from prosecution.

A court had ruled that a 2009 decision by a former chief prosecutor to drop corruption charges against Zuma should be reviewed. Zuma denies the corruption allegations, which were dropped before he became president.