Parties up in arms as Zuma is likely to walk

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The National Prosecuting Authority is most likely to drop 16 charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering against ANC president Jacob Zuma, and there may not be anything that anyone can do about it.

Co-chairperson of the Law Society of South Africa Selby Boqwana says the NPA is also likely to announce that it will not disclose the content of recordings of allegedly bugged conversations between former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy, former national director for public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and former president Thabo Mbeki.

Boqwana told Sowetan yesterday that the NPA would most likely refuse to release the "spy tapes", arguing that the police were still investigating how they had landed into the hands of Zuma's lawyers.

Even if the national intelligence agency was granted permission by a high court to bug McCarthy's phone calls, private individuals like Zuma's lawyers were not allowed to possess intelligence information, Boqwana said.

"And once they announce a police investigation, then we must know that is the end of the matter," said Boqwana. "If this happens, the NPA and police can say that the contents of the tapes cannot be disclosed because they are under investigation."

Boqwana also pointed out that there was not much the opposition parties could do to reverse the situation.

"The NPA decisions are not reviewable. All that opposition parties could do would be to bring a private prosecution against Zuma," Boqwana told Sowetan. "This would be difficult because it requires huge amounts of money. The state has already spent R60 million on this case."

Opposition parties have organised protests outside the NPA offices today.

DA leader Helen Zille says she will force her way into the NPA offices this morning.