/ 9 February 2015

Zuma spy tapes corruption case to go back to court

Target: The media's obsession with President Jacob Zuma and his family makes 'objectivity impossible'
Target: The media's obsession with President Jacob Zuma and his family makes 'objectivity impossible'

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has informed the DA that it will oppose the party’s application to review the dropping of charges against President Jacob Zuma.

“The NPA is aware of the court date that the DA has set on the unopposed court roll,” NPA spokesperson Velekhaya Mgobhozi said.

“The NPA has indicated to the DA that it will oppose the matter. This would mean the case would have to be removed from the unopposed roll and set down for an agreed date on the court roll.”

Mgobhozi said the NPA would file its opposing papers well before the court deadline.

Last week, the Democratic Alliance said the high court in Pretoria would hear its application on March 16, unopposed.

‘Political conspiracy against Zuma’
The opposition party was handed the spy tapes last year after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the NPA had to comply with a previous order to release the tapes. Zuma had opposed the move.

The recordings, internal memoranda, reports and minutes of meetings dealing with the contents of the recordings had to be provided.

The tapes, containing recorded phone conversations, allegedly reveal collusion between the former head of the Directorate of Special Operations (the now dissolved Scorpions) Leonard McCarthy, and the NPA’s former head Bulelani Ngcuka, to manipulate the prosecutorial process before the ANC’s Polokwane conference in 2007.

Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference. Former president Thabo Mbeki had been a contender for another term.

The charges were dropped shortly before Zuma was sworn in as president in 2009. The then acting national director of public prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, said the tapes showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case against him could not continue.

The Sunday Times published a compilation of transcripts from the so-called spy tapes after the newspaper was granted access to them by the high court in Pretoria.

Mgobhozi on Monday said there was a large amount of work which would go into the matter.

The NPA was having difficulty consulting with the acting NPA head at the time, Mpshe, and his deputy. Mpshe was currently working as an acting judge and had a tight schedule.

“This has made it difficult to consult with him on the issues,” he said. – Sapa