DA: NPA must hand over tapes

2013-08-22 19:00
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority's failure to hand over the so-called Zuma spy tapes would spark a constitutional crisis, the DA said on Thursday.

The party was waiting to see if the NPA would do the "right thing", federal executive chairperson James Selfe said in a statement.

"If we do not receive these documents tomorrow [Friday] and there is no appeal, the NPA will be in contempt of court. This would effectively plunge South Africa into a constitutional crisis."

The tape transcripts and other documents relate to an NPA decision in 2009 to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

The High Court in Pretoria on Friday ordered acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba to lodge a copy of the tapes with the registrar of the court within five days.

The ruling by Judge Rami Mathopo followed an application by the Democratic Alliance.

The party wanted to overturn the decision, announced in April 2009, by then acting National Prosecuting Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw fraud and corruption charges against Zuma.

Selfe said Friday's ruling was a victory for democracy, accountability and the Constitution.

"South Africa has the right to know if there was a case against President Zuma and if the decision by the NPA to drop the charges was politically motivated. The NPA will now have to answer for this decision."

In March last year the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the NPA to lodge the record with the registrar of the high court.

The NPA refused to do so on the basis that it contained confidential representations by Zuma.

Mathopo ordered Jiba to comply with the SCA order and ruled that the record to be lodged include a copy and transcript of the electronic recordings Mpshe referred to in his announcement.

The record had to include any internal memoranda, reports or minutes of meetings dealing with the contents of the recordings or the transcript itself, insofar as these documents did not breach the confidentiality of Zuma's written or oral representations.

With regard to the memoranda, minutes, and notes of meetings, Jiba was ordered to deliver copies to the DA's Cape Town attorney within the next five days. Those parts of the document she considered confidential had to be marked.

The NPA and Zuma were ordered to pay the costs of the DA's application.

NPA spokeswoman Bulelwa Makeke said on Thursday the NPA would only have an update regarding the handing over of the tapes on Friday.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  jacob zuma  |  mokotedi mpshe  |  james selfe  |  zuma spy tapes

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