The Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday dismissed President Jacob Zuma’s application to prevent the release of the so-called “Spy Tapes”. Within five days, the National Prosecuting Authority must comply with the previous court order, in an application brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA), to release the tapes. The actual recordings, internal memoranda, reports and minutes of meetings dealing with the contents of the recordings must be provided.
Conversations on the recordings were cited as a reason to drop fraud and corruption charges against Zuma, shortly before he was sworn in as president in 2009. At the time, acting NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe said they showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case could not continue.
DA leader Helen Zille on Thursday lauded the Supreme Court of Appeal order that the so-called “Spy Tapes” be released, after opposition by President Jacob Zuma.
“This is one of the most important days in the history of our democracy,” Zille said on the steps of the SCA in Bloemfontein after the order was made on Thursday.
Zille accused Zuma and his “network” of hijacking the judiciary.
“We are all equal before the law. None of us is above the law.”
“The court systems are being hijacked by politicians like Zuma and his network… If anybody is suspected of a crime and if there is a case to be made that person must have his day in court whether that person is a president or a pauper.”
The crowd, dressed in blue, chanted “Give us the tapes”.
The DA applied for access to the tapes and in spite of winning previous court cases could not obtain them. Zuma’s legal team had argued in the latest application that the DA would use them against him for political gain. SAPA