Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed President Jacob Zuma's application to prevent the release of the so-called "spy tapes", in a judgment handed down in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

Within five days, the National Prosecuting Authority must comply with the previous court order, in an application brought by the Democratic Alliance, 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.

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.

Last week legal teams representing the DA, Zuma and the NPA agreed on an arbitrator to review the full-set of the so-called spy tapes.

Retired Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Noel Hurt was set to be appointed to act as the arbitrator.

Sapa