Spy tapes saved Zuma - claim

2011-01-23 16:34

Johannesburg - Special Investigating Unit (SIU) boss Willie Hofmeyr allegedly told his deputy the secret tapes that ended President Jacob Zuma’s corruption case were “unlawful ­recordings” made by crime ­intelligence to “monitor” the ­investigation of former police chief Jackie Selebi.

The explosive claim is made in court papers filed by Faiek Davids, Hofmeyr’s former deputy at the SIU who is challenging his ­sacking from the unit at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Davids claims that the main ­reason for his axing by Hofmeyr was ­because he (Davids) was ­mentioned in a voicemail message left on his phone by former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy, that formed part of the spy tapes.

This is the first time a senior law-enforcement official has stated on record that interceptions made for Selebi’s benefit led to Zuma’s corruption charges being dropped.

Selebi’s lawyer did not respond to questions sent by City Press, while Zuma’s lawyer, Michael ­Hulley, the initial recipient of the recordings, said it would be ­“unethical and improper” of him to comment on a pending inquiry to which he is not a party or legal representative.

The SIU is disputing Davids’s claims and is defending the ­matter. The unit declined to ­answer specific questions because it does not want to “undermine the CCMA proceedings”.


Former acting prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe controversially dropped the case against ­Zuma in April 2009 - 16 days ­before the country’s national ­election was held.

The source of the tapes that ­implicated McCarthy and former National Prosecuting Authority boss Bulelani Ngcuka in plotting the timing of charges against Zuma has been shrouded in secrecy.

The former inspector general of intelligence, Zolile Ngcakani, ­conducted an investigation into how the tapes were leaked to ­Hulley, but his report has never been published.

Ngcakani’s successor, Faith Radebe, said last week that the ­report was sent to Parliament’s joint standing committee on ­intelligence and she considered the matter “finalised”.

In March last year, ANC MP Cecil Burgess, the chair of the standing committee, said he would release the report only if the committee found it to be in the public interest, and after ­consultation with Zuma.

Operation Destroy Lucifer

The Mail & Guardian reported in May last year that two ­independent sources claimed former crime ­intelligence boss Mulangi ­Mphego, a close confidant of ­Selebi, was the original source of the recordings.

The recordings were obtained by crime intelligence through Operation Destroy Lucifer - a covert operation that countered the Scorpions’ probe of Selebi. McCarthy was one of the people whose phone calls were allegedly tapped.

The newspaper detailed Mphego’s movements in Durban, where he allegedly played some of the ­recordings to Zuma.

Contained in the transcripts of recordings that were released by Mpshe when he announced the dropping of charges against Zuma was a voicemail message left by McCarthy on Davids’s phone six days after Zuma was elected as ANC president.

The message was transcribed as: “Davids, uh, McCarthy here, give me a ring please, you send me ’n gevaarlike SMS here just before Christmas.

I am Thabo man, I mean we are still wiping the blood from our faces, or egg, or egg and blood from our faces.

“Saw the man on Friday evening, we planning a comeback strategy.

And once we have achieved that, we will clean up all around us my friend. Bye.”

Access to tapes

In his complaint to the CCMA, Davids accuses Hofmeyr and the SIU of relying on “alleged evidence illegally sought” to fire him, and despite “repeated” requests by Davids for access to the tapes, Hofmeyr allegedly refused.

“In the course of these discussions, Hofmeyr said it would not be politically advisable for (Davids) to have access to these tapes.”

Davids also criticised Hofmeyr’s “attempts to interpret McCarthy’s message” as evidence of his support for former ­president Thabo Mbeki.

“On the contrary, the message points to (Davids) not being politically partisan,” the papers read.

  • jubjub52 - 2011-01-23 17:49

    More ANC = African Nationalised Corruption. Nationalization = Malema, Zuma et al and his ANC mates feeding their pockets under the guise of "socialism" or "communism" Shame - absolutely disgusting.

      Howzitekse - 2011-01-24 12:53

      In the last 100 years SA produced a large chunk of all the gold ever produced. At one stage in the 80s the interrest rates were 24%, and the taxes very high. The South Africa that the ANC took over was heavely in debt. Before you talk about corruption, shame and absolutely disgusting, tell me. WHERE DID THE NONEY GO? Maybe the DA can tell us?

      Lauren - 2011-01-24 16:00

      DA was not in power then, silly billy and the money went towards building everything that you see around you today. The infrastructure of the country. It's not that hard to figure out.

      Mike0255 - 2011-01-24 16:58

      You mean Advance National Corruption Party

      bill - 2011-01-26 09:35

      @howzitekse Perhaps you should ask the ANC - they jumped into bed with the National Party.

  • - 2011-01-23 17:54

    So... If you ask someone if they commit a crime and they said yes and you record it without them knowing it, it means nothing in court. It still do not clear that person's name... Why was all the charges then dropped against Zuma? I have always smelled a rat... Now it is president of South Africa... One day the truth will come out. ALL parties against the ANC must stand against at least one thing. GET THE CRIMINAL ANC OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA

      hb7of9 - 2011-01-23 18:05

      If you take all the criminals out of the ANC, there wont be much left.

  • BigMoose - 2011-01-23 18:32

    Unlawful recordings about unlawful activities. No wonder the criminals are in charge.

  • marrow.kgaile - 2011-01-23 18:53

    I did not risk my life for this sh*t,most people who were active around the bad days of apartheid are nothing now in the eyes of ANC.It laughable that people who were students then calling us (Cosas and the Youth Congresses around South Africa ) RASCALS, are the one's leading ANC now. These power mongers are still going to kiss each other for this gravy train

      Great White - 2011-01-23 19:25

      You and I were at opposite sides of the political spectrum in those days, but I agree with you entirely. Some other dogs have grabbed the bone that you and I were fighting over and are laughing at us.

      Cire - 2011-01-24 11:02

      And surely the worst thing for you is that education is now MUCH worse than it was in 1976 when the youth rose in rebellion? Now all the poor illiterates do is continue to vote for the sleazeballs who slimed their way into government on the backs and the blood of the 76 generation!

      LBS - 2011-01-24 12:26

      I hope to God there are more of your kind and that they open their eyes and VOTE for the right party this time, even if it is not a perfect party, it will be a start in the right direction!

      DeonL - 2011-01-24 14:29

      A lot of coloureds in the Western Cape worked hard to get rid of apartheid, now they are pushed aside, no wonder they changed theire vote. More votes will be lost if more coloureds loose theire jobs to blacks to get the country "demograpics" right.

  • v3 - 2011-01-23 19:00

    Hofmeyr is as crooked as they come. Not only did he act illegally in the above matter, but he assisted Mpshe in illegally dropping the charges against party bigwig Zuma. As head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit he has made a point of not recovering the funds stolen by ANC cronies.

  • Great White - 2011-01-23 19:19

    The thot plickens...

  • Ibo - 2011-01-23 19:34

    I am sorry to the clones who were born to hate the ANC and can be seen here, and also I must make it clear that I am not fan of the ANC, but I guess the guys are smarts and try to fight on intelligent level. Bulling and mangling on politics is in all over the world whether in Europe northern America or Asia, and sometimes in these country which might be looks as morally superior than us sometimes political fighting use to be physical or on idiotic ways and here we have all of this on super intelligent tactics. Isn’t we should be proud of this? Isn’t that if these mind power is been put on good use we can be ranking one of the best in the world. SA is shining all over the world because of the 10-15 years work of Mbeki who rank on the top ten in the world. In Zuma’s Ability to lead so far so good but i am sure that South Africa deserve someone whose better than him, and if the ANC is the ones produced Mandela and then Mbeki I am sure they can produce other ones, so those who tried to softly dealt with Zuma I am not sure if they were morally wrong though legally they were.

      tsotsi420 - 2011-01-24 15:35

      Ibo - sorry mate Mbeki was not a great leader. Around the world he is not much respected his policies seen as disasterous. He is complicit in one of the worst tragedies of our time, Zimbabwe, being indirectly responsible for millions of people's suffering and in some cases death. He single handedly could have helped avoid that crisis, but in his words "what crisis ?" sums it up. His policies on AIDS contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths and he is internationally laughed at for making claims about the link between HIV and AIDS when he has NO medical training whatsoever. Mandela was a charismatic leader, a great statesman. But the ANC since him has not produced one worthy leader.

      Gaina - 2011-01-24 18:26

      Mbeki was a fool the world knows it.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-01-23 21:21

    Skulduggery, smoke and mirrors, secrets and lies. I was tempted to say; "Who cares?" but I think everybody in the country should care. This is not what I call "a better life for all". These politicians are our employees and they are supposed to be working to build South Africa into a prosperous and proud nation. But what do they do ? They spend so much time, energy and money just on themselves and their Party.To make themselves look good. The only leaders S.A. had since 1990 was De Klerk and Mandela,who took us through step 1. The rest were just useless politicians, and cannot even see step 2.

  • Sinudeity - 2011-01-23 22:02

    And how these the scumbags in government abuse the law, our tax payer money, and infringe on our consitutional rights, just to keep the corrupt scumbags out of prison and in power. LOL, the ANC cant tell the difference between right and wrong anymore. WORST thing to happen to South Africa since apartheid, AN****ingC.

      Hux - 2011-01-25 07:54

      @ The-man who. How much did you pay for your Grade 1 certificate?

  • BigBrother24 - 2011-01-24 09:50

    The Zuma process was the result of "Judgment by Fraud" ie: The initial causes of the action (corruption, crime) were smothered by fresh allegations (spy tapes) totally unconnected to the initial causes. google : "Judgement by Fraud" is a useful tool used by Dirty Trick Lawyers even though it is unlawful.

  • BigBrother24 - 2011-01-24 09:54

    The Zuma process was the result of "Judgment by FRAUD" ie: The initial causes of the action (corruption, crime) were smothered by fresh allegations (spy tapes) totally unconnected to the initial causes. google : "Judgement by FRAUD" is a useful tool used by Dirty Trick Lawyers even though it is unlawful.

  • BigBrother24 - 2011-01-24 10:01

    The Zuma process was the result of "JUDGMENT by FRAUD" where the initial set of allegations (corruption, crime) were smothered by fresh allegations (spy tapes). google "Judgment by Fraud" is a useful Trick used by Dirty Trick LAWYERS in KZN and relied upon regularly by the mafiosa to get criminals off.

  • The-man-who - 2011-01-24 10:53

    Most people who comment in here are just pure racists and have no place in our beloved South Africa.

      rade8408 - 2011-01-24 22:08

      You sure you arn't one of those people?

      WPWW - 2011-01-25 07:49

      everyone is a racist deep inside, both black and white, there is no rainbow nation there is only a modicum of respect and tolerance for another race. Also you need to study the sociology of your race to understand why all african countries are a failure, its not colonisation, I cant tell you what it is cos you will call me a racist as if that is supposed to offend me, look at japan and europe after the war, people had everything destroyed but their leaders knew what to do and rebuilt everything through hard work and determination. they didnt only sit around complaining about the germans or americans, they complained after a full days work.

  • robyn - 2011-01-25 12:21

    to Howzitekse - The DA were not in power and in case you did not know have never been so you cant blame them ???????

  • bill - 2011-01-26 09:37

    Michael Hulley , Zuma's lawyer ,should be charged with possession of stolen information . He is as big a criminal as flathead.

  • guy.goes1 - 2012-03-15 08:46

    Hallo if i read the comments correctly about Mbeki it seems that all is forgiven and a new african icon is rising. Did we forget the aids crimes, the education and health failures and the horrendous cadre mismanagment of police, justice and security departments by Mbeki. His legacy became the blueprint for even greater disastrous corruption in the zuma era

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