Zuma wants extension for submitting spy tape court papers

2015-06-10 12:25
(File, City Press)

(File, City Press)

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Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma asked for an extension to file court papers opposing a DA application to review a decision to drop the corruption charges against him, the DA said on Wednesday.

"They were supposed to file papers today [Wednesday], but they asked for an extension to the 17th [of June]," DA MP James Selfe said.

This would be Zuma's heads of argument in the controversy that has dogged his political career from when he was an MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, to his removal as deputy president, and finally his ascendancy to president.

Spy tapes

This follows the Democratic Alliance's eventual receipt of "spy tapes" which they believe contain enough information to proceed with a review application of the decision to drop the charges.

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

The tapes, containing recorded phone conversations, allegedly revealed collusion between the former head of the directorate of special operations - the now defunct Scorpions - Leonard McCarthy, and the NPAs 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. Shaik was convicted of corruption and is on medical parole.

Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference. Former president Thabo Mbeki had been a contender for another term and the contest for the top position caused rifts in the party. The Scorpions were also 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.

Downer affidavit

City Press reported on Tuesday that the senior prosecutor in the corruption case against Zuma broke ranks with the NPA and maintained that the charges should never have been dropped.

Advocate Billy Downer submitted an affidavit in which he contradicted some of the statements made by advocate Willie Hofmeyr, who filed the main affidavit on behalf of the NPA.

In the affidavit Hofmeyr filed in March, he defended the NPA’s decision to drop the case against Zuma, arguing that the decision was taken with regard to abuse of prosecutorial process and not just based on the merits of the charges.

But in his affidavit, Downer revealed that even though he was “reduced to tears” by the contents of the spy tapes, he felt their contents did not justify a decision to stop the prosecution.

Read more on:    da  |  jacob zuma  |  james selfe  |  zuma spy tapes  |  politics

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