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Zuma spy tapes U-turn

By Chandré Prince | Apr 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 179 ]

THREE years after criminal charges were withdrawn against President Jacob Zuma, the South African public will finally have an insight into the controversial spy tapes that got him off the hook.

In a U-turn necessitated by an order of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the National Prosecuting Authority yesterday revealed that it would file transcripts of the tapes.

The tapes have been a guarded state secret since their existence came to the fore in 2009 and have become a nightmare for Zuma and the NPA and some of its structures.

NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga yesterday said the authority's senior counsel had decided to follow the processes as set out in the judgment.

In an unanimous March 20 ruling, the SCA ordered that the acting national director of public prosecutions, Nomgcobo Jiba, file a reduced record of the proceedings that led to then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe to abandon Zuma's prosecution.

Zuma was let off the hook on corruption charges relating to bribes he allegedly received after he made presentations to the NPA.

The SCA's ruling followed an application brought by the DA on whether Mpshe's decision to drop the charges was legally sound and not politically motivated.

The DA had argued that disclosing the spy tapes - which contained intercepted recordings of conversations between senior political and judicial officials - and controversy around the way in which the charges were subsequently dropped, could be put to rest if the matter were deliberated in a public court.

DA MP James Selfe said yesterday that his party was pleased with the NPA's decision to heed the SCA ruling and would study the reduced record.

"Depending on the nature of the documentation we receive, we will brief our legal team to proceed with the substantive review of this decision, with the objective of determining before a court of law whether the decision to discontinue the prosecution against Jacob Zuma was based on rational defensible legal grounds, or whether it was in fact a political decision," Selfe said.

Mhaga said the NPA was finalising the preparation of the reduced records and they would be filed in the Pretoria High Court by today.

"The NPA believes that it was the correct decision and will continue to defend it in court. Once there is a final court ruling on the merits, the NPA will respect the outcome as it always does," said Mhaga.

He said the NPA's decision to release the spy tape records was informed by the fact that:

l The judgment dealt with preliminary issues that had no direct impact on Mpshe's decision and did not deal with the merits of the decision.

l The judgment only decided on the issue of the DA's legal standing to challenge that decision by way of review.

l Pursuing an appeal will result in piecemeal litigation and unnecessary delay because the merits of the review will still have to be determined in the event of the Constitutional Court dismissing the appeal.

l Consequently, it would not be in the interests of justice to ask the Constitutional Court to deal with an appeal against the SCA judgment at this stage.

Zuma had opposed the DA's application and in his affidavits asked the court to dismiss it, saying that, if it did not, not only would his image be tarnished but so would that of South Africa and the NPA.

The SCA had, however, ruled that not the entire transcript should be made available and that the record to be filed in court should exclude written representations made on behalf of Zuma and any consequent memoranda or reports prepared in response, or oral representations, if their production would breach confidentiality agreements.

It ruled that some of the representations were protected and would not be disclosed.

COMMENTS [ 179 ]

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JJQ: I am not interested in "white interests" I am only concerned about the country in which I and my children live. I DO NOT THINK IN RACIAL TERMS! I need to disengage now, not because of anything other than that I have things I need to do. Bye and have a good weekend.

Apr 13, 2012 2:54 | 0 replies

@Sinudeity
JajasQueen - Nope, Im not 40. But Julius (31) is still refered to as youth, hence the point. In my "culture", once you hit 18, you are considered an adult.
______________________

You are such a little fibber....can't even tell your right age. How old are you?

Apr 13, 2012 2:38 | 0 replies

@Sinudeity
Dzel - Taking offense to some of the petty insults merely deterbs from looking at the actual barometer of politics in South Africa. Service delivery.

The problem we have with Cape Town, is that refugees from all over Africa, want to come into the province. Even refugees from Joburg who couldnt make it that side, now move into this province. Then of course, the influx of job-seekers from the ECape.
________________________________

Today you sound even younger....13 to be precise. So you are saying refugees want to come...but have not come??? So what's the issue here?

Apr 13, 2012 2:36 | 0 replies

JajasQueen - Nope, Im not 40. But Julius (31) is still refered to as youth, hence the point. In my "culture", once you hit 18, you are considered an adult.

Apr 13, 2012 2:33 | 0 replies

Dzel - Taking offense to some of the petty insults merely deterbs from looking at the actual barometer of politics in South Africa. Service delivery.

The problem we have with Cape Town, is that refugees from all over Africa, want to come into the province. Even refugees from Joburg who couldnt make it that side, now move into this province. Then of course, the influx of job-seekers from the ECape.

Apr 13, 2012 2:31 | 0 replies

HAAHAAHAAHAA! You are 40??????HAAAHAAAHAAA! You are 40???
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I thought he was much younger but he walked straight onto this one. hhhmmmmmmmmm.....

Apr 13, 2012 2:31 | 0 replies

@Dzel
RobinH,

I'm no fan of Mrs ZIlle
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

May I ask why not?

Its just that MommaC is not a fan either, I suspect Sin is no fan either when it suits him :-)

If I were white I'd be a big fan, all Zille stands for is white interest so what has she done to turn you guys off?
________________________________

I'll wait right here for an answer, will not move an inch!

Apr 13, 2012 2:30 | 0 replies

RobinH
JJQ: I would prefer to keep this at a non party level. I'm no fan of Mrs ZIlle. But neither am I of the bulk of the airthieves sleeping on parliamentary benches. My argument is aimed at the whole lot, and I don't want to be drawn into petty party comparisons as I believe the notion of political parties to be fundamentally flawed.
____________________________

Then stick to politics 101.

Apr 13, 2012 2:28 | 0 replies

RobinH,

I'm no fan of Mrs ZIlle
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

May I ask why not?

Its just that MommaC is not a fan either, I suspect Sin is no fan either when it suits him :-)

If I were white I'd be a big fan, all Zille stands for is white interest so what has she done to turn you guys off?

Apr 13, 2012 2:27 | 0 replies

@Sinudeity
JajasQueen - Kid? Sorry, its just in the ANC where someone younger than 40 is still revered to as a child
________________________________
HAAHAAHAAHAA! You are 40??????HAAAHAAAHAAA! You are 40???

Apr 13, 2012 2:27 | 0 replies

JajasQueen - My age is irrelevant. Pity that you decide to troll the discussion with age.


"So you are saying refugees want to come...but have not come??? So what's the issue here?"

The what?

Apr 13, 2012 2:38 | 0 replies