NPA ‘must protect Zuma’s privacy’

2014-07-30 00:00

A CONFIDENTIALITY agreement is the latest excuse to keep documents about the so-called Zuma spy tapes from being made public.

President Jacob Zuma is appealing to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein to set aside a year-old court order by the high court in Pretoria for the NPA to hand over the documents to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

In his application to prevent the publication of the contents of the spy tapes, Zuma’s counsel states an agreement exists between the president and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to protect the president. The court papers explain Zuma would be understandably vigilant to protect the confidentiality of his talks with the NPA precisely because it is the DA that wants these discussions published.

The court papers explain Zuma is a natural target for the largest opposition party, which would use any opportunity to use information to his disadvantage to advance its own political aims.

Zuma’s counsel argues the president told the NPA about the spy tapes without prejudice to his rights. Zuma also explained to the NPA the context of the talks between the former head of the NPA Bulelani Ngcuka and advocate Leonard McCarthy, former head of the Scorpions.

The NPA had then approached the National Intelligence Agency to determine if the recordings could be obtained legally.

The NPA had raided Zuma’s homes and confiscated thousands of documents, which his counsel said had damaged his privacy and dignity, which was why these documents could not be handed to the DA.

Judge Rami Mathopo ordered the NPA mark which documents are deemed confidential and said only the DA’s attorneys could see these.

Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe, then acting as NPA head, made parts of the spy tapes public when he announced on April 6, 2009 his decision not to prosecute Zuma.

The DA told the appeal court Zuma had not used the confidentiality of his representations before, not even when Mpshe made public parts of the tapes.

The DA said while Zuma’s representations enjoy the protection of confidentiality, the NPA’s internal memoranda and discussions about the tapes do not. The application will he heard on August 15.

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