Zuma spy tapes: Court gives NPA 5 days to hand over transcripts to DA

2013-08-16 11:15

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has five days to give the DA transcripts of the “spy tapes” that got President Jacob Zuma off the hook on corruption charges.

The North Gauteng High Court this morning ruled that the confidentiality of Zuma’s submissions to the NPA, which it used to clear him of corruption charges, did not extend to transcripts of the tapes.

Judge Rammaka Mathopo today ruled that he “failed to understand (Zuma’s) assertion that disclosure of the transcripts would affect his right to confidentiality or privilege”.

“To the extent that (Zuma) claims confidentiality, he must set out the relevant facts why he is entitled to confidentiality. The (NPA) is not entitled to accommodate the third respondent (Zuma) in a vacuum.

“Sufficient basis must exist. In my view none has been shown to exist,” said Mathopo.

A Supreme Court of Appeal judgment last year ordered the NPA to file a record of its 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

The DA is attempting to review the NPA’s decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

But the NPA alleged that Zuma’s legal representatives were entitled to have first sight of the transcripts.

Zuma’s lawyers then argued that the spy tape transcriptions formed part of confidential disclosures he had made to the NPA and refused that the NPA give them up.

Mathopo today ruled that “on a proper interpretation of the SCA order, the transcripts were in the public domain”.

He also ordered that internal NPA memoranda, minutes and notes of meetings relating to the decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma must be filed with the DA’s attorneys.

The parts of the internal documentation that the NPA alleges are confidential must be marked.

The DA will then have an opportunity to challenge the confidentiality of those parts of the document before a judge, if necessary.

The DA’s application for acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba to be held in contempt of court was dismissed.

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