Spy tapes case: NPA 'deeply regrets' failure to file papers

2015-06-30 18:14


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Johannesburg - The NPA "deeply regrets" its failure to file papers in the DA's bid to review the decision to have corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma dropped.  

"The delay was because its team of counsel required more time to finalise its heads of argument in a matter which has a long and very complicated history, and where the record of proceedings consists of many thousands of pages," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said in a statement.

It said it did not believe the delay of "a few days" would affect the hearing's date.

The large number of additional papers the DA had asked for had affected the NPA’s ability to prepare. New issues had been raised by these new papers and by the party in its replying papers.

The Democratic Alliance said the NPA's failure to file papers meant it was in contempt of a order agreed to by all parties at the High Court in Pretoria on March 16.

The NPA had originally agreed to file its heads of argument on June 26, but missed that deadline, for no apparent reason.

"The NPA requested leave to file its papers by the close of business yesterday [Monday], but failed even to comply with this," the party said in a statement. 

"Having missed a deadline set by the NPA themselves, they have now intimated that they might file their papers tomorrow without providing any clear assurances to that effect."

'Chronic tardiness'

The DA said that, based on the NPA not meeting both deadlines, the only logical conclusion was that it was intent on delaying the matter for as long as possible, even though the process had already been frustrated for more than six years at taxpayers' expense. 

"On 16 March this year, all parties agreed to a timeline by which to file the relevant documents in this matter. While the DA is mindful that there would be unforeseeable and reasonable delays, the DA asserts that the NPA’s chronic tardiness in filing its papers serves no other purpose than to frustrate this process even further."

The party's application follows its eventual receipt of "spy tapes" which it believes contain enough information to proceed with a review application of the decision to drop the charges against Zuma.

The DA was handed the tapes last year after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the NPA had to comply with a previous order to release the tapes. Zuma opposed the move. 

The tapes of recorded phone conversations, allegedly reveal collusion between the former head of the directorate of special operations - the now defunct Scorpions - Leonard McCarthy, and the NPA's former head Bulelani Ngcuka, to manipulate the prosecution of Zuma before the ANC's Polokwane conference in 2007.

The charges related to his allegedly receiving a bribe from an arms company via his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik who was jailed for corruption and later released on medical parole.

Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference. 

Former president Thabo Mbeki had been a contender for a second term and the contest for the top position caused rifts in the party. The Scorpions were also subsequently disbanded.

The corruption charges were dropped shortly before Zuma was sworn in as president in 2009.

Then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe claimed the tapes revealed a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case could not continue.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  jacob zuma  |  zuma spy tapes

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