South African court stash judgment in case involving spy tapes of Zuma

The High Court in Pretoria on Thursday reserved judgment on the so-called spy tapes case regarding corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma

After hearing the matter for three consecutive days, Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba, and two other judges in the court decided to reserve judgment on an application by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) to have the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) decision to drop 738 charges against President Jacob Zuma set aside.

President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma
The judges said judgement will be communicated to the parties soon.

The NPA argued on Wednesday that it dropped the charges against Zuma to protect the independence of the NPA.

But the DA said withdrawing charges against Zuma damaged the public image of the NPA.

The party disputed the argument by the NPA and Zuma’s counsel that withdrawing the charges was about showing the public that political interference would not be tolerated.

The spy tapes allegedly contain records showing why a decision was made for charges on over 700 counts of corruption against Zuma to be withdrawn, clearing the way for him to become president after the 2009 elections.

The charges, including fraud and racketeering, stemmed from the country’s 1999 arms deal with arms company Thint and the decision by then acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw the case.

Zuma’s legal team had contested the charges through confidential representations submitted to the NPA in February 2009.

These included written and oral submissions, and recordings of conversations between the former heads of the Directorate of Special Operations, the now defunct Scorpions, Leonard McCarthy, and the NPA’s former head Bulelani Ngcuka – dubbed the “spy tapes”.



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