Judgment reserved in spy tapes case

2013-07-24 16:56

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Pretoria - Judgment was reserved in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday on the release of the so-called Zuma spy tapes.

"I will reserve the judgment as you will appreciate," Judge Rami Mathopo said.

The tapes are recordings of intercepted phone conversations which the DA believes will shed light on the dropped fraud and corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

The recordings formed the basis for a decision in 2009, by then acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe, to drop the charges.

In March 2012, the SCA gave the NPA 14 days to produce the documents, but the documents were not produced.

Advocate Sean Rosenberg, for the DA, told court that the NPA was in contempt of court for not complying with a SCA order to release the documents and tapes.

"There are two elements to this case. The first is an application to compel the production of the record [the documents and tapes].

"The second is to seek relief with regards to a contempt of the court. Both applications are strong," he told the court.

The DA wants access to the so-called Zuma spy tapes, recordings of intercepted phone conversations, which the party believes will shed light on why fraud and corruption charges against Zuma were dropped.

Rosenberg said Zuma had not submitted an affidavit stating why transcripts of the tapes, which led to charges against him being dropped were confidential.

"The question is... does the production of the transcripts serve in any way to undermine the confidentiality of the representations [for Zuma during his case]?" asked Rosenberg.

Objection

Advocate Paul Kennedy, for the NPA, said it would have been "improper" for the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) to file the documents if Zuma had objections to this, and that the NDPP was not in contempt of court.

"If there is an objection, there must be an opportunity to raise it. The NDPP will not take sides in the matter," he said.

He said the NPA avoided taking a unilateral decision on whether the documents formed part of the court record.

"We have no objection to handing over the documents - the transcripts or the recordings," Kennedy said.

"But we owe a duty of confidentiality to Mr Zuma's legal team because that is the basis on which the representations were made."

Kemp J Kemp, for Zuma, said the NPA was first alerted by Zuma, on a confidential basis, about the tapes containing the recorded telephone conversations.

He said that, hypothetically speaking, a photograph of two people who were not supposed to be seen together could be given to the NPA in a similar confidential manner.

He then asked whether, if the NPA then made its own enquiries and discovered the photograph was authentic, it could say: "You provided me with this evidential material and I verified it on my own, so it's no longer under the confidentiality clause?"

Kemp said the SCA order had not included confidential material given to the NPA.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  jacob zuma  |  zuma spy tapes

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