04/09/2014 Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille arrives at the North Gauteng High Court for the deadline of the handing over of the so-called spy tapes by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Picture: Phill Magakoe

Pretoria - There has been a delay in the handing over of the so-called Zuma "spy tapes", DA leader Helen Zille said on Thursday.

"I would like to say that I have the tapes, but unfortunately I don't," she told reporters outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

"The deputy judge president first wants to study the (Supreme Court of Appeal) court order."

Zille said she was told to return at 2.30pm.

There was some confusion in earlier reports about what had been handed to the DA leader. 

Earlier on Thursday, documentation was handed over to the DA in the presence of its forensic expert who inspected the recording devices to make sure the chain of evidence was not broken.

This followed the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling last week 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.

President Jacob 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.

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.

Before entering the court earlier Zille addressed an excited crowd gathered outside.

“It's been five years, six court cases and it is about over 700 charges of corruption... the president,” she said.

“We say everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.”

 Zille said she believed there were political reasons for the charges being dropped.

“That's why we believe they were removed for political reasons so that Jacob Zuma could become president in 2009.

“If this happens in a democratic country you can't call it a democracy anymore,” she said.

“Today we say give us the spy tapes, we want to know the reasons.”

Zille claimed political power was being used to shelter people and persecute enemies.

She said it was the DA's job to protect the Constitution, not just for the people who voted for it but for all South Africans.

However, this was the “end of the beginning”, she said.

The next step would be a review application.

Zille said the “spy tapes” was only part of the evidence and the DA was entitled to get the entire record.

Zille said the state had spent almost R10 million trying to stop the recordings from being handed over.

“Tell us why,” she shouted.

Sapa and IOL