Spy tapes: DA resolute in Jiba contempt bid

2013-08-25 14:00

Acting National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Nomgcobo Jiba may yet be held in contempt of court for refusing to hand over the “spy tapes” that caused President Jacob Zuma’s corruption charges to be dropped.

City Press understands the DA’s legal team is considering a cross-appeal of the North Gauteng High Court’s finding that Jiba was not guilty of contempt of court after she allowed Zuma’s lawyers to have first sight of the spy tape transcripts.

On Thursday, Zuma’s legal team filed papers to appeal Judge Rammaka Mathopo’s order of the previous Friday, which compelled the NPA to disclose the spy tapes within five days.

As for the DA’s contention that Jiba had committed contempt of court, Mathopo found that Jiba had a legal duty to allow Zuma’s lawyers to object to the disclosure of the tapes.

Mathopo therefore found that Jiba’s failure to file the tapes was not wilful or deliberate, which is necessary for her to be found guilty of contempt.

But Zuma’s appeal against the ruling opens the door for the DA to appeal Mathopo’s finding that Jiba had not committed contempt of court.

James Selfe, the DA’s federal executive chairperson, confirmed that the official opposition was considering this option, but said a final decision would only be made this week.

Selfe said the DA will oppose Zuma’s application for leave to appeal.

The so-called spy tapes are recordings of intercepted conversations between then NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy which suggested that the timing of charges against Zuma had been manipulated.

Only selected parts of the tapes were released by the NPA. The DA is after the full version of the tapes.

The NPA has indicated that it will abide by the outcome of the appeal.

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