Spy tapes reveal Polokwane paranoia

2014-09-28 10:58


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Cape Town - The so-called spy tapes have revealed how paranoia gripped the rival camps of Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki in the run up to the ANC’s Polokwane conference in December 2007 – amid fears of "chaos" and "bloodshed".

This was disclosed in a Sunday Times report after the newspaper applied to the North Gauteng High Court last week to access the documents. Permission was granted on Friday.

The transcripts show that former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy was in such a panic that he considered travelling to the conference venue to personally charge Zuma.

However, former prosecutions boss Bulelani Ngcuka restrained McCarthy and the then justice minister Brigitte Mabandla from moving against Zuma.

Ngcuka at the time begged McCarthy not to proceed, as he feared the move could result in bloodshed at the conference – which saw then ANC leader Mbeki being replaced by Zuma.

The Sunday Times reports that it is clear that political considerations played a major part in the NPA not prosecuting Zuma. The final decision on this was made in April 2009.
DA wins

As reported earlier this month by News24, the DA was handed the spy tapes after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the National Prosecuting Authority had to comply with a previous order to release the tapes. Zuma had opposed the move.

The recordings, internal memoranda, reports and minutes of meetings dealing with the contents of the recordings had to be provided.

The tapes, containing recorded phone conversations, allegedly reveal collusion between the former head of the Directorate of Special Operations (the now defunct Scorpions) Leonard McCarthy, and the NPA's former head Bulelani Ngcuka, to manipulate the prosecutorial process before the ANC's Polokwane conference in 2007.

Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference. Former president Thabo Mbeki had been a contender for another term.

The charges were dropped shortly before Zuma was sworn in as president in 2009.

Then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, said the tapes showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case against him could not continue.

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

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