Mpshe reveals contents of Ngcuka, McCarthy tapes
African National Congress (ANC) presidential candidate Jacob Zuma’s lawyers earlier this year handed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) “devastating” evidence of collusion between its former officials and former president Thabo Mbeki.
The evidence—recordings of tapped phone conversations involving former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy (LM) and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka (BN), among others—was part of their representations as to why Zuma’s corruption case should be dropped.
The following is an excerpt from acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe’s address to the media at the NPA’s offices in Pretoria on Monday, in which he deals with the contents of the recordings:
Allegations of abuse of process in recordings of telephone calls
I will now deal with the contents of some of the recordings as set out below. I believe that it is in public interest to make this available as this is matter of huge public interest, and I believe that it is important for members of the public to be able to draw their own conclusions about the nature of conduct:
Calls about manipulating the timing of charges for other purposes
2. Date 7.11.2007 10h25 BN
LM: The second thing is, I, remembering what you said on Saturday, I read yesterday’s Business Day editorial, you must just read it.
d. BN: Just remind me.
e. LM: yes, its in line with your thinking.
f. BN: Laughs.
g. LM: I am serious. Apparent reference to the enclosed Business Day editorial of 6.11.07. The editorial is of the view that it appears to benefit Mr Mbeki when Mr Zuma is not facing charges.
h. LM: The third issue is, I met with the guy I mentioned, and you know his line is almost like that of Sam.
i. BN: Laughs.
j. LM: But he said he will. He says he will speak to the man but his he is back over the weekend, but he knew, he feels very strongly that I should not see the guy directly.
k. LM: So that he has a shield, so that if this issue comes up then he can say “I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about”. There is regular reference to the need to meet or discuss with “the man”, “the other fellow” or “guy” or “he”. In calls 17, 21, 25, 26, 28 it is clear that it is the president. In most other cases it is not clear who is meant.
y. BN: you know very interesting there is different points of view across the board
z. LM: You don’t want to join this dinner with Mzi?
aa. BN: No, you will see, his view is completely opposite—he agrees with you. He and Sam agree with you. We had dinner on Sunday, quite a number of people, mine was there, Dlamini was there.
i. I put a hypothetical question to them, let’s assume the judgement comes out in next few weeks and its in favour of those guys, what must happen by when?
ii. Mzi was the only one on that table who said let’s do it now, he was the only one.
iii. If he tells you the truth he and tells you that, everyone there disagreed with him Discussion of timing of charge of Mr Zuma. Mzi Khumalo appears to be only one who supports LM in view that it should happen before Polokwane.
6. Date 26.11.07 20h43 BN
g. BN: So you the only one who can just save this country from its madness.
h. LM: hmm.
i. BN: You know.
j. BN: I just cant believe it, I really cant believe it, I don?t know, so we also busy now.
l. And a
m. LM: and what does the big man say, is he oraait.
n. BN: I don’t know.
o. BN: I want to, I will try to call him later tonight, he is in a meeting the whole day, at Shell house of all places (laughs).
q. LM: I did what you said I should do, I must say.
r. BN: you did right, right thing.
s. LM: up until Friday, I received a strong memorandum to say charge and charge now.
t. BN: Friday
u. LM: No this Friday, the team says we have been fucking around with this thing, we are allowing ulterior considerations to come in, it will become an impossibility later—we now must take action and deal with “finish and klaar” as Jackie Selebi says, but we will talk when I see you. Following a discussion about ANC provincial nomination conferences, LM is the only one who can save the country.
Appears as if BN requested that LM obtain the view of the team to bolster the argument that charges should brought before Polokwane (in case it was needed).
10. Date Wednesday 12.12.07 10h41 BN
r. LM: But listen, I think you guys must just keep your heads open about the “when” factor because I mean we will file our docs tomorrow, we will, Mpshe is going on leave tomorrow and I am acting.
s. LM: We will have our section 2e order and our, our, we will have finalised the processing of the decision.
The when factor is an apparent reference to whether Mr Zuma should be charged before or after Polokwane.
The s2(e) order is a reference to the authorisation for a racketeering prosecution that must be issued by the NDPP.
t. BN: As long as you don’t do it this weekend
u. LM: If we hold it back, it will be because the clever people like you and others are saying to us that the country needs cool heads but I would hate to have be seen to be wrong later.
v. BN: just don’t do it this weekend.
w. LM: it might change
x. BN: I cant keep an open mind, you can’t do it this weekend, our minds wont change.
y. The exchange is repeated several times
z. BN: Just don’t do it this weekend.
aa. LM: I wont move this weekend, if this change, just let us know.
bb. BN: it wont change BN makes it clear that they do not want Mr Zuma to be charged before Polokwane despite the fact that everything is in place to do so.
Calls about manipulating the filing of papers in the Constitutional Court for other purposes
8. 12.12.07 Wednesday 10h15 SMS exchange BN & LM.
a. BN: When are you filing
b. LM: We’re stretched. It has tripled in size now. Likely to file tomorrow afternoon or Friday afternoon only. What up!
c. BN: The sooner the better. Not later than tomorrow. It will assist a great deal Refers to the NPA’s reply to Mr Zuma’s application for leave to appeal to the Con Court in the search warrant matter. It was due on 14 Dec.
9. Date Wednesday 12.12.07 10h41 BN.
a. LM: We must have one of those Yengeni nights—remember we said we will not leave this fucking hotel until its done. The reference is to a meeting with Mr Yengeni’s lawyers that lasted late into the night.
b. BN: If this thing comes out the way we discussed it yesterday,
i. those key issues, right
ii. it will be a devastating one for them,
iii. and it will cause people to wake up to know what they are actually doing
iv. without being dramatic, without you making arrests,
v. it will say, this is what we have, this is what we have, and we are forced to state it now and people will wake up think what are we doing
c. LM: Friday, by Friday people are packing bags, they won’t even read the fucking newspapers.
d. BN: That is the thing, that is the thing, that is why it will be good if it could come out today (ie Wednesday).
e. LM: Today is difficult, I will call a Yengeni night, we are not leaving here until we finalise this tomorrow morning, we file by lunch time and give it to the media.
f. BN: You made my day This is a discussion about the need to file it earlier so that it can be reported in the newspapers before the delegates leave for Polokwane.
10. Date Thursday cell 13.12.07 12h20 BN
a. LM: What is the mood like?
b. BN: Is it out?
c. LM: no no, I am just checking the pulse of securities.
d. LM: You know, I thought I will give call you once a day, twice a day to hear whether the position has not changed.
e. That thing will only be filed tomorrow.
iv. So we will probably only file tomorrow at about 12h50, we have a date for 10 to 1
f. BN: how does it look?
g. LM: its ugly, you need someone who can nitpick and read through all that shit of 212 pages, and look at para 79.
h. BN: Can you deliver a draft to my place?
i. BN: I will be in Johannesburg
j. LM: I will get, I will rather come myself, I don?t want to take changes.
k. BN: No I will be late tonight.
l. LM: I will wait for you, or see you first thing in morning. I don’t want intermediaries here.
m. BN: ok, your right,
n. LM: Zuma will say we are conspiring against him.
o. LM: can I ask, the script has not changed yet.
p. BN: Ya, no.
q. LM: because (do/don’t) feel like going to Polokwane and charging him there Cont discussion about the need to file Con Court papers earlier.
The position or script are apparent references to whether Mr Zuma should be charged before or after Polokwane.
LM undertakes to deliver a draft of the Con Court papers to BN personally to avoid it becoming known.
It is unclear whether he says he “do” or “don’t” want to do this.
12. Date Friday 14.12.07 10h53 BN
a. LM: are you in position where I can drop something off or send someone to drop something off.
b. BN: drop it at home, not there yet.
c. LM: the one thing is a 8 pager, which you should read because it deals with whatever is new.
i. The rest is just same shit we have heard for the last 3 years
e. LM: I want to get this to you, I can?t leave it in envelope with drivers and things it is too risky. My guy can drive to where you are and give it to you.
f. BN: its not possible, in East London.
g. LM: Can also fax it to you.
h. BN: I will give you a fax no.
i. LM: You must physically stand there and wait for it.
LM prepares and sends a short summary of key issues that are newsworthy to BN for apparent distribution to the media.
13. Date Friday 14.12.07 12h03 SMS BN
a. BN: The fax number is 040 653 2223. Thanks.
14. Date Friday 14.12.07 12h32 SMS BN
a. BN: I am standing next to the fax machine. Hope you won’t forget me.
15. Date Friday 14.12.07 12h43 SMS BN & LM
a. BN at 12h43: Got it. Thank you very much.
b. LM at 12h56: Hold onto it for a while, until ...
16. Date Friday 14.12.07 BN 13h08
a. LM: I just wanted to say its been filed, I am told you can show it even to the guy on the beachfront.
b. LM: It is in court, anyone can access it ? I just got an sms, it was filed 3 min ago.
LM informs BN that papers have been filed and can be distributed
Apparent political affiliation
28. Date: about 24.12.07 11h49 Voicemail to F Davids
a. LM: Davids, uh, McCarthy here, give me a ring please, you send me ‘n gevaarlike sms here just before Christmas. I am Thabo man, I mean we are still wiping the blood from our faces, or egg, or egg and blood from our faces. Saw the man on Friday evening, we planning a comeback strategy And once we have achieved that, we will clean up all around us my friend. Bye. Allegiance to Mr Mbeki, confirm that they met, and “we” are planning a comeback strategy
Discussion with person in private intelligence industry about seemingly political solutions to NPA cases:
18. Date 16.12.07 SMS exchange between Luciano to LM
b. LM: I have been advised to give Ouboet & Oujan a break in the interest of SA. Tenous times. QV
i. L: What did Jesus say? Give to the emperor what is due to him and to the church what is due to her. You serve at the pleasure of the emperor. Any other choice wld mean not serving at the pleasure of the emperor.
j. LM: I hear you emperor sir. They’re asking for a review. What.
k. L: Primus salus amicus et familia. That’s the motto.
l. LM: Yea. Threatening to expose no. 1.
m. L: Approach hold even if Lume looses (sic) As far as can be established, Luciano is a private intelligence operative.
Ouboet is Mr Selebi.
Oujan is probably Mr Zuma.
Presumably a review of the cases
“Lume” is nickname for Mr Mngwengwe, the Investigating Director of the DSO.
19. Date 17.12.07 SMS exchange between Luciano to LM
L: Thought over night—1. Recommend we help you find 2 sympathetic and credible international lawyers that can join each of the 2 reviews.
2. International component important for SA?s reputation and your own. If carefully selected will support objective.
3. In ouboet’s case need international component to deal decisively with o sullivan factor. Matter also high profile given K allegations, media interest and focus on crime in lead up to 2010.
4. Iro Oujan recommend a comprehensive review is done of ALL MLA and prosecution cases are done flowing from arms deal not just his by review panel with international lawyers as you originally recommended. cont
5. You can then deal with oujan in context of broader review.
6. If you are going to do this in interest of SA recommended you request
6.1 You submit review report to Special Committee of 4 ministers justice, intel, foreign affairs and safety and security. Do not take sole responsibility. Yr current line management structure will result in sole responsibility.
6.2 Recommend you come to clear agreement about SAG support for the next phase of yr career including a date.
6.3 You are going to need resources incl special budget because above all the media will have to be managed locally and globally. End.
Proposal for what appears to be a further review panel for the Selebi (and Zuma) matters
The Selebi review panel had concluded its work at the end of November 2007.
K is probably Kebble
SAG = SA Government? The review panels appear to be linked to the future World Bank position.