Ngcuka breaks silence over spy tapes

2014-10-05 10:06

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Johannesburg - Former national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka has lashed out at President Jacob Zuma’s defence team and accused them of acting criminally to save their man.

According to the Sunday Times, Ngcuka broke his five-year silence on the spy tapes issue last week when he spoke out about Zuma and ex-prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe, who decided to drop corruption charges against the president shortly before the 2009 elections.

Ngcuka told the newspaper that he was angry over the fact that despite having stepped down as NPA boss in 2004, Zuma continues to “drag me into” his fight to avoid prosecution.
Ngcuka was the first NPA boss to accuse Zuma of corruption.

On Friday however, he accused Mpshe of having deliberately misled the public over his decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma. Mpshe’s reasons at the time were that the tapes indicated there was a political conspiracy against Zuma.

Among his claims, Ngcuka states that the NPA released only selective transcripts to make it appear that he had interfered in the prosecution process. He also claims that the NPA aided and abetted Zuma’s lawyer, Michael Hulley, in a criminal act after he listened to classified tapes he possessed illegally.

Paranoia

This comes after News24 reported last Sunday that Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj had slammed as 'paranoia', spytape claims that he co-ordinated Zuma's victory at the 2007 ANC conference in Polokwane.

"I think it is wild speculation by people who are paranoid," said Maharaj.
This was on the back of a Sunday Times compilation of transcripts from the so-called spy tapes after the newspaper was granted access to them by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

One of the transcripts published details a conversation between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and businessman Mzi Khumalo who was seen as a loyalist towards Mbeki. At the Polokwane conference Mbeki stood for re-election as party president but was defeated by Zuma.

In the transcript, Khumalo is quoted telling McCarthy about Zuma's victory by saying: "...I went and told them [Mbeki camp] that Maharaj was back in full force. They had Mac Maharaj there co-ordinating the whole thing. And the whole cabal is back in force... Zuma will have a cabinet which will include Maharaj, and all those guys, the first thing they will do is to pardon Shabir Shaik."

Asked what his comment on this transcript extract was, Maharaj said: "How do I respond to people's own rich imagination? It doesn't deserve a response...
"The facts are there: Mac Maharaj is not in Cabinet. Shabir Shaik has not been pardoned."
Shaik, who once served as Zuma's financial adviser, was in 2005 convicted of fraud and corruption linked to the arms deal.

He served two years and four months of a 15-year sentence before his release on medical parole.
"It was understandable when it was apartheid and there was paranoia about the ANC," said Maharaj.
"That [the claims in the transcript] is a different paranoia and I can't account for it."
The tapes are believed to reveal collusion between various organs of state against Zuma.

Dropped corruption charges

In 2009, acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mpshe cited the tapes in his decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma; saying that they indicated that there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case against him - apparently linked to the arms deal could not continue.

In another transcript extract published on Sunday, McCarthy tells then NPA head Ngcuka that: "Ja you know, Zuma will say we are conspiring against him."

Discussion around then foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's suitability to become president - once Mbeki's term in 2009 finished - is also detailed in the report on the tapes.
In one transcript, McCarthy describes Dlamini-Zuma's performance during a radio interview shortly before the Polokwane conference as "Jesus. Shocking" and decides she was a "lost cause".

According to the World Bank website, McCarthy has served as its Integrity Vice President since June 2008.     
  





Read more on:    bulelani ngcuka  |  jacob zuma  |  zuma spy tapes  |  politics

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