No end to spy tapes saga

2015-03-16 14:40

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Pretoria - Final dates were set in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday for court papers to be filed in the DA's application for a review of the decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

Judge Neil Tuchten granted an order in terms of an agreement reached between the DA and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), giving the NPA until the end of the month to file opposing papers in the application.

Zuma was given until 15 April to file his opposing affidavit, and heads of argument have to be filed by 10 June, whereafter the deputy judge president would be approached for a court date.

Tuchten did not grant an order allowing the parties to apply for an expedited date for the application to be heard.

He said the DA would have to present argument before the deputy judge president on why the matter was urgent.

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

The recordings, internal memoranda, reports and minutes of meetings dealing with the contents of the recordings had to be provided.

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 NPA's former head Bulelani Ngcuka to manipulate the prosecutorial process before the ANC's Polokwane conference in 2007.

Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference. Former president Thabo Mbeki had been a contender for another term.

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

Political conspiracy

Then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe said the tapes showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case against him could not continue.

The Sunday Times published a compilation of transcripts from the spy tapes after the newspaper was granted access to them by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The NPA and Zuma have missed several consecutive deadlines to file answering affidavits in the DA's application.

The DA's Marius Redelinghuys said on Monday the NPA and Zuma would be in contempt of court if they missed the deadlines.

"Our stance from the start has been that this matter has been in and out of court for six years.

"Therefore, we would like to have this matter concluded as soon as possible.

"The DA will consult with its legal team to determine the way forward.

"We hope to be back in court before at least the end of the year to finally hear the matter and proceed to the next step in President Zuma's corruption saga," he said.

The DA insisted the decision to drop the charges was irrational and should be set aside.

The DA has in the past described it as "an absolute outrage" that Zuma has used taxpayer's money to bankroll his opposition to the release of the spy tapes, although his counsel was in the end forced to concede before the SCA that they had no case.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  zuma spy tapes  |  politics

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