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Zuma tapes damaging, says DA

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iol pic sa DA James Selfe_

INLSA

DA MP James Selfe. Picture: Damaris Helwig

Johannesburg - It is clear President Jacob Zuma's lawyers know the so-called spy tapes could be damaging and do not want them to get out, the DA said on Wednesday.

“If this is correct, it will prove our contention that the decision to drop the charges against Mr Zuma was irrational and unlawful,” Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe said in a statement.

Tuesday was the deadline for responses to the DA's heads of argument on January 21, compelling the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to hand over the reduced record.

The NPA and Zuma's lawyers failed to submit heads of argument by the close of business on Tuesday.

Selfe said the DA was informed by the office of the State Attorney late on Tuesday that it was unable to meet the deadline.

“This has further delayed the DA’s quest to discover the truth about this case,” he said.

The NPA could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The DA rejected the argument by Zuma's lawyer Michael Hulley that submissions made by Zuma were confidential.

Selfe said: “Our heads of argument make it clear that the tapes were given to the NPA by the National Intelligence Agency and not by Mr Zuma’s legal team, and that they cannot, therefore, be privileged.”

In March, the Supreme Court of Appeal gave the NPA 14 days to produce the documents which were before the then prosecutions head Mokotedi Mpshe.

He decided to drop corruption charges against Zuma in 2009, claiming the case was politically motivated.

This decision was based on recordings of intercepted phone conversations Ä the so-called spy tapes.

Instead of producing the transcripts in April last year, the NPA handed them to Hulley.

Selfe said the NPA should be found in contempt of court because it had failed to comply with the court order. - Sapa


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