Zille at court for ‘spy tapes’ handover

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iol news pic DA spytapes handover sept 04 @DA_NEWS/TWITTER DA leader Helen Zille addresses an excited crowd at the High Court in Pretoria.

Pretoria - Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille arrived at the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday as an excited crowd of DA supporters waited for the handover of the controversial “spy tapes”

Zille was surrounded by the singing supporters and escorted to a truck with speakers outside the court.

Zille spoke of the need to go to the High Court to get the so-called spy tapes.

She said the NPA had a political, not a legal reason, to withhold the tapes.

“We hope President Zuma, who has always asked for his day in court will now have his day in court,” Zille said.

She said she hoped that he would not spend the next five years spinning this out at taxpayers' expense.

Zille said the NPA cannot be used as a tool by political parties to hide and protect those power, "they have to protect and uphold the constitution and democracy”.

The crowd later burst into the singing of the national anthem.

A DA supporter said this was a historic moment not only for the party, but also for democracy.

“We are excited and happy that the tapes will be finally handed over to us. It’s been a long journey. Leaders need to be held accountable for their actions and this is one of the first steps in making sure that they are held liable for their actions, through transparency,” said Mamelo Ramashapa.

Last week the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that within five days the National Prosecuting Authority had to comply with a previous order, in an application brought by the DA, to release the tapes.

Zuma had opposed the move.

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.

The tapes allegedly reveal collusion between the former heads 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.

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.

* This story wil be updated.

Sapa and Pretoria News

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