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Supreme Court to hand down judgment in Zuma Spy Tapes saga

Oct 13, 2017
Supreme Court to hand down judgment in Zuma Spy Tapes saga

After eight years of intense legal wrangling in the so-called spy tapes saga, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein is now on Friday expected to put the matter to rest when it hands down judgment in an appeal by President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The matter was heard in the Supreme Court in September, following a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in April 2016 that the decision in 2009 by former acting NPA head, Mokotedi Mpshe, to drop more than 783 charges of alleged corruption against Zuma, stemming from the 1999 multibillion-rand arms deal scandal, was irrational.

At the September hearing, Zuma’s legal team and the NPA agreed with the High Court that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against the President based on claims of political meddling in the case was indeed “irrational”.

Zuma's lawyer, Advocate Kemp J Kemp, to the Supreme Court that his client wanted the opportunity to make fresh representations to national director of public prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams.

Spy tapes

It is alleged that Mpshe dropped the charges against Zuma in April 2009 after hearing the “spy tapes” that were given to the NPA as part of Zuma’s “representations” as to why he should not be prosecuted.

In the recordings, are telephone conversations, mostly between former Scorpions head, Leonard McCarthy, and the first National Director of Public Prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka.

The tapes revealed that McCarthy had consulted extensively with Ngcuka, who was known to be a passionate Mbeki supporter, about when to indict Zuma.

According to Zuma, the intention was to better then President Thabo Mbeki’s chances of winning the ANC elective conference, which was to be held in Polokwane.

Mbeki was subsequently ousted at the conference and to pave way for Zuma to become President, the charges were also dropped.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which has been fighting that decision since 2009 on Thursday said that it will be at the hearing. The party wants the charges re-instated and for the President to face prosecution.

"While this legal battle to hold President Zuma accountable for the 783 charges against him has been ongoing for close to a decade now, we trust that tomorrow’s judgment brings us a step closer to ensuring justice can run its course," the party said.

"The time has come for Zuma to finally face up to the charges against him."

DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane will be joined by DA Federal Council Chairman, James Selfe at the hearing.