This is only the end of the beginning,” Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille told a modest crowd of the party’s supporters outside North Gauteng High Court on Thursday. “This day will be written and read about,” she went on. “And you are here to witness it. We have won the battle to have the right to review the record of decisions, including the spy tapes.
After five years, six court appearances and R10 million worth of taxpayer’s money spent, the Democratic Alliance finally have possession of the infamous “Zuma spy tapes”. The tapes are said to reveal conversations and documents used by the National Prosecuting Authority as motivations for dropping several corruption and fraud charges the President in April 2009. Of particular importance is an alleged conversation between former head of the NPA, Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy who allegedly discussed when to charge Zuma which, the NPA believed, amounted to a political conspiracy against him. Zille marked this as a triumph for democracy, further stating that no one “should be above the law” and that the President must “finally get his day in court”.
“We have fought to ensure that no one is above the law – not even the President. No president can have corruption charges withdrawn against them for no reason, so today we are saying ‘give us those spy tapes’, began Zille. “They [the ANC] have fought for five years to prevent us from getting them. Why did they fight for five years – through six court appearances that cost taxpayers R10 million – to hide this from us? The President has always asked for his day in court and, hopefully, he will get,” Zille told the crowd.
After the tapes were verified by a forensic expert, the tapes were handed to Zille who emerged from the North Gauteng High Court to cheers from the party’s supporters. Meanwhile, President Zuma has welcomed the releasing of the tapes, according to a statement by his spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
President Zuma welcomes the release of the record relating to the so-called spy tape… All of this emanated from the agreement which the parties reached and which was presented to the SCA for incorporation into the order of court. This process is designed to determine what constitutes the record upon which the NPA decision was based. The President is happy with the process thus far.
For a comprehensive timeline of the Spy Tapes saga, read LIVE reporter Tshephang Thlapane’s piece here
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