Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma and his “network” have hijacked the judiciary, DA leader Helen Zille said after the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the release of the so-called Zuma “spy tapes” on Thursday.
“We are all equal before the law. None of us is above the law,” she told a crowd outside the court in Bloemfontein, which earlier dismissed Zuma's application to prevent their release.
“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.”
"This is one of the most important days in the history of our democracy," Zille said, while the crowd, dressed in blue, chanted “Give us the tapes”.
The court ruled that within five days, the National Prosecuting Authority must comply with a 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.