Judge Ngoepe denies 'spy tapes' talk

2012-10-31 22:18
Bernard Ngoepe (Picture: Beeld)

Bernard Ngoepe (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Retiring Gauteng judge president Bernard Ngoepe has denied discussing the release of tapes in the possession of the NPA with reporters, the office of the chief justice said.

Ngoepe had given an interview to media and was asked about the problem of government institutions not complying with court orders, the office said in a statement on Wednesday.

"During the interview... Ngoepe was never asked anything about the National Prosecuting Authority at all," it said.

"At no stage, was [he] asked about a specific case, let alone the so-called 'spy tapes'."

The office of the chief justice said if Ngoepe had been asked about the NPA spy tapes, he would have declined to respond as the issue was pending before the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The Sowetan reported on Wednesday that Ngoepe had criticised the NPA for not releasing the tapes in an interview.

Disputing this, the office of the chief justice said the interview was recorded. It maintained the NPA was not mentioned or the spy tapes referenced.

The office noted that Ngoepe's alleged remarks on the spy tapes did not appear in other media reports, suggesting the Sowetan was in error.

"The report is therefore a distortion, and it is misleading. It is objectionable in the extreme because it portrays the judge president as having commented on a case which is pending before his court, something that he would never do."

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in March that the NPA needed to release reduced transcripts of the tapes to the Democratic Alliance.

The NPA has said this was contingent on President Jacob Zuma's lawyers not objecting on the grounds of confidentiality. Zuma's lawyers objected.

- SAPA
Read more on:    npa  |  jacob zuma  |  bernard ngoepe  |  military  |  zuma spy tapes
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