NIA asked for ‘Zuma spy tapes’

2012-04-14 17:38

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is scrambling to obtain the so-called “Zuma spy tapes” from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

This emerged after both President Jacob Zuma and the NPA this week announced that they would not be challenging a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment, related to preliminary matters in the DA’s challenge of the 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga yesterday confirmed they were “currently in an urgent process of retrieving all the recordings heard by the NPA at the time so that they can be transcribed more fully”.

The tapes of conversations between then NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy suggested there was political interference in the timing of corruption charges against Zuma.

Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe, then acting national director of public prosecutions, made transcripts of parts of the tapes available to the media in 2009 when he announced that the charges would be dropped.

At the time, Mpshe said it was the “most difficult decision I ever made in my life”. This was after Michael Hulley, Zuma’s lawyer, gave the NPA’s Willie Hofmeyr and Sibongile Mzinyathi the opportunity to listen to the tapes.

The NPA then approached NIA to obtain the tapes because Hulley would not allow Hofmeyr and Mzinyathi to keep them.

NIA declassified the tapes and made them available to the NPA. This means that they do not actually form part of Zuma’s direct representations to the NPA, which cannot be disclosed.

Exactly how Zuma’s legal team came by the spy tapes remains a mystery. The case is set to continue in the North Gauteng High Court later this year.

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