Spy tapes: Legal battles ‘point to cover-up’

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma's protracted legal attempts to prevent the release of the so-called spy tapes to the Democratic Alliance points to a cover-up, opposition leader Helen Zille said on Monday.

Writing in her weekly newsletter, Zille rhetorically asked why Zuma's lawyer fought the release of the material to the DA, before conceding on Friday that he could not make an argument for keeping it from the party.

"As we reach this important milestone, it must be asked: if there was no reason to withhold this material, why did advocate Kemp drag the matter through six court hearings over five years and block us at every turn?

"There can only be one answer: there is a lot to hide."


She said once the DA had insight into the tapes and other records that informed the National Prosecuting Authority's 2008 decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma, it would decide whether to pursue a review of the decision on the basis that it was politically motivated.

"We will be much closer to determining whether the decision to withdraw the charges was legally 'rational' or whether it could have been politically motivated, in which case we will proceed to seek a high court review."

The Supreme Court of Appeal has given the DA and Zuma’s advocate, Kemp J Kemp, until Friday afternoon to see if they can agree on who to mandate to review the NPA's internal minutes on the corruption case against the president for release to the party.

The actual review case has been held up by the DA's battle to secure insight into recordings of phone conversations, which acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe cited as the reason for withdrawing the charges.

Mpshe said they pointed to political interference in the case.

Questions answered

This was challenged earlier this month by former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego, who said he failed to understand how Mpshe could reach that conclusion.

"I listened to all the tapes... I was shocked because I could not reconcile what he was saying with what I knew," he told the Sunday press.

Zille said this raised questions as to whether the tapes that prompted the decision to drop charges against Zuma were genuine, and Kemp's climb-down meant these would soon be answered.

"And now, over five years (and six court applications) after the tapes were used as the reason to drop the charges against Zuma and pave the way for him to become president, we are a significant step closer to having those questions answered," she said.

"This is, quite simply, the most important review case in the 20-year history of our democracy."

Paige Turner 2014-08-18 03:55:57 PM
Now sue the bunch of them for obstruction of justice.
Jacob Jody 2014-08-18 04:03:52 PM
zumakie the time has come.bible says wages of a sin death boy.
Lionel De Frontignac 2014-08-18 04:04:41 PM
Good lawyer tactics: make as much gravy as possible.
Patrick China Ngene 2014-08-18 04:10:20 PM
Zuma s always in hot water or on front page of da newspaper . How can a guy lyk him b da president o4 da country ?
Edward Radingoana 2014-08-18 04:21:35 PM
This is the hard work the DA has done. I have never heard an Advocate being stuck without facts but Kemp has just made history in 20 years of democracy. He has surrendered.
Julia Griffiths 2014-08-18 04:24:12 PM
How much money has he made from this action? Point to consider apart from Zuma trying to hide something
Utopian Indigent 2014-08-18 04:27:27 PM
All of this, and involuntary destructive changes in management at NPA over 8 years, just to stop the Zuma-fraud dossier from going 2 Court. OFCOURSE it's a cover-up. Where are Linds & other paid corruption cronies now to defend this?
Zelda Matthews 2014-08-18 04:28:42 PM
Jamba amen
Belinda Oberholster 2014-08-18 04:37:37 PM
Release the tapes, why spend more money on a court case!!!!! Rather use that money to protect the children & woman of this country!!!!
Phil Galpin 2014-08-18 04:38:23 PM
'why did advocate Kemp drag the matter through six court hearings over five years and block us at every turn?' easy answer-because he could and he was being paid for by the taxpayer.