Arbitrator appointed in spy tape matter

2014-08-23 09:42

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Legal teams representing the Democratic Alliance (DA), President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have agreed on an arbitrator to review the full set of the so-called spy tapes records, DA leader Helen Zille has said.

“An agreement was reached today to appoint retired Supreme Court of Appeal [SCA] Judge Noel Hurt to act as an arbitrator,” she said yesterday.

“This appointment will now become an order of the SCA at a date to be determined by the court. Once the SCA has finalised this order, all spy tapes records will be released to the arbitrator.”

On August 15, a full bench of the SCA gave Zuma and the DA a chance to resolve their differences with regard to documents in the NPA’s possession involving the tapes.

At the time, the two sides agreed in principle to a third party, a senior legal mind, to be asked to judge what information formed part of the confidential representations of Zuma to the NPA.

The legal counsels had until 4pm yesterday to have an agreement delivered to the SCA.

An SCA court official confirmed yesterday that papers were sent to the court by the deadline.

In April 2009, then acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew fraud and corruption charges against Zuma.

In March last year, the SCA ordered the NPA to lodge a record of the documents on which the NPA based their decision, with the registrar of the high court.

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

The High Court in Pretoria then ordered the NPA to adhere to the original order by the SCA for a reduced record of the documents that the DA was looking for. They included the so-called spy tapes.

Zuma appealed against this decision.

Zille said yesterday that only records determined by the arbitrator to be part of Zuma’s confidential submissions to the NPA, and therefore privileged, would not be released to the DA.

“The decision of the arbitrator will be final and binding on all parties,” she said.

“The DA’s legal team will then study the records on receipt to determine whether a high court review of the NPA’s decision is appropriate.”

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