Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille asked supporters on Wednesday to donate money to the party to help fund further legal action around the so-called spy tapes.
“The DA spent five years [and] over six court hearings, seeking to obtain the ‘spy tapes’ which the National Prosecuting Authority used to drop over charges on over 700 counts of corruption against President [Jacob] Zuma,” she said in an e-mail to “fellow South Africans”.
“This five-year battle came at a great financial cost to the DA and, upon inspection of the evidence, we believe that the corruption prosecution should proceed.”
She said that for charges to be reinstated, “and for President Zuma to finally get his day in court”, it would require the courts to reverse the NPA’s decision to drop the prosecution.
“This will entail further court hearings, the cost of which must again be covered by the DA,” Zille said.
“You can help the DA speed up this process so South Africa does not have to wait a further five years before he is tried.
“You can help the DA uphold the rule of law by donating towards this continuing legal battle.”
The e-mail contained a link to the donation page on the party’s website.
The DA was handed the spy tapes last week after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the NPA had to comply with a previous order to release the tapes. Zuma had opposed the move. The recordings, internal memoranda, reports and minutes of meetings dealing with the contents of the recordings had to be provided.
The tapes, containing recorded phone conversations, allegedly reveal collusion between the former head of the Directorate of Special Operations (the now defunct Scorpions) Leonard McCarthy, and the NPA’s former head Bulelani Ngcuka, to manipulate the prosecutorial process before the ANC’s Polokwane conference in 2007. Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference.
Former president Thabo Mbeki had been a contender for another term. The charges were dropped shortly before Zuma was sworn in as president in 2009. Then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, said the tapes showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case against him could not continue.
On Monday, Zille said there was “sufficient evidence” on the recordings for a review application of the decision to withdraw corruption charges against Zuma.
“I have read the transcripts of the tapes handed to us by the NPA last Thursday. They constitute recordings of 36 conversations over five months,” Zille said in the DA SA Today newsletter.
“Without revealing the contents, I am satisfied that the ‘spy tapes’ provide sufficient evidence to continue our review application of the decision, by the then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe, to withdraw the charges against President Zuma.”
The DA’s lawyers had advised it not to make public the contents of the tapes. SAPA