'Spy tapes' matter to continue

Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria will on Wednesday continue to hear arguments in an application brought by the DA to have the decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma reviewed.

On Tuesday, Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba, who was flanked by Judge Billy Mothle and Judge Cynthia Pretorius, heard from the Democratic Alliance's legal team and the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) team.

Lawyers for the opposition party asked the court to look at the rationale behind the decision to drop the charges in 2009.

Advocate Sean Rosenberg spent some time going over the history of the case, indicating it was important to give context to the matter.

He argued that then National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe had failed to attach proper weight to the matter when he announced that the charges would be dropped.

Rosenberg also argued that the decision was an impulsive one.

In September 2008, Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson dismissed criminal charges against Zuma, citing a political conspiracy to influence the case by former president Thabo Mbeki and others.

Nicholson's decision was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and overturned. Zuma subsequently appealed this to the Constitutional Court, setting in motion a direct approach to the NPA to make written and oral representations on why the case should be dropped.

Explaining the NPA's decision to drop the charges, Mpshe on April 6, 2009, cited what became known as the "spy tapes".

They are recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka, and apparently show political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

On April 7, 2009, the charges against Zuma were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban.

Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president in May that year, following general elections.

Lawyers for the NPA on Tuesday argued that former president Thabo Mbeki had nothing to do with the plot to have Zuma prosecuted.

This after being asked by Mothle about the allegations of political interference levelled against Mbeki, McCarthy and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka in the prosecution.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 658 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
71% - 3550 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 758 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.20
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.30
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.70
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.22
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Platinum
1,012.08
0.0%
Palladium
1,618.86
0.0%
Gold
1,928.39
0.0%
Silver
23.60
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.66
-0.9%
Top 40
74,766
+0.4%
All Share
80,791
+0.4%
Resource 10
77,871
-0.4%
Industrial 25
103,872
+0.7%
Financial 15
16,281
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE