The spy tapes — a quick recap

2014-08-29 00:00

What are the spy tapes?

These are transcriptions of the secretly taped phone call conversations between advocate Leonard McCarthy, the former head of the Scorpions, and advocate Bulelani Ngcuka, former head of the National Prosecting Authority. The tapes purportedly contain proof that McCarthy and Ngcuka conspired to manipulate the timing of when President Jacob Zuma was to be charged, allegedly in an attempt to oust Zuma from the ANC before the party’s Polokwane elective conference.

Who made the tapes?

Up to now speculation is that one of SA’s intelligence agencies made the tapes. The tapes ended up with Zuma’s attorney Michael Hulley, who handed them to the National Prosecuting Authority, which in turn handed it to the National Intelligence Agency. Major-General Mulangi Mphego, a former head of intelligence, recently alleged these tapes were not made by crime intelligence. This means the tapes’ authenticity, legality and origin are now being questioned.

Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe, former acting head of the NPA, used Mphego’s statement as grounds to drop the corruption charges against Zuma. As soon as the DA gets access to the transcripts and the tapes, the party will try to convince a court Mpshe’s decision was irrational. Then the corruption charges could be re-instated against the president.

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