Spy tapes: Mpshe ignored recommendations
Johannesburg - Former acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe ignored recommendations to continue with the prosecution against President Jacob Zuma, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday.
The weekly published extracts of internal National Prosecuting Authority correspondence surrounding the decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma shortly before the April 2009 elections.
The correspondence published by the newspaper focuses mainly on two aspects - Zuma's legal team's “oral representations” to the NPA of the so-called spy tapes, and Mpshe's decision on Zuma's prosecution.
According to extracts of the internal memos, the “Bumiputera team”, which comprised NPA prosecutors and Scorpions investigators, complained that it had not been consulted about the legal arguments Mpshe had used to justify the decision to drop the charges.
It also had doubts the arguments would stand up to judicial scrutiny. The matter should be decided in a court and not “behind closed doors” of the NPA.
When Mphse announced the charges against Zuma would be dropped, it was suggested that former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy had a pro-Thabo Mbeki agenda.
But according to the correspondence published by the Mail & Guardian, the investigating team's legal advisers, Wim Trengove and Andrew Breitenbach, argued that prosecution should continue regardless, even if this was true.
“If advocate McCarthy was part of an alleged conspiracy to prejudice Mr Zuma by deciding to prosecute immediately after Polokwane (ANC 2007 elective conference) then this also does not matter.
“This is so because the team's recommendation in any case was to prosecute as soon as possible, for exclusively non-political reasons,” said Trengove and Breitenbach.
The unedited excerpts of the NPA correspondence can be read at www.mg.co.za/spytapes. - Sapa