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DA to determine 'spy tape' decision

The court ordered the NPA to hand over transcripts of the Zuma spy tapes to the DA within five days.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma addresses the Commonwealth and South African Open Chess Championship 2013 at Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth. Picture:GCIS

PRETORIA - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says as soon as it receives copies of the Zuma spy tapes, it will study them to establish whether the decision to drop charges against President Jacob Zuma was rational and lawful.

The North Gauteng High Court on Friday ordered the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to hand over transcripts of the so-called Zuma spy tapes to the DA within five days.

The DA has been fighting for access to the transcripts that were used by the NPA to drop corruption charges against President Zuma in 2009.

The tapes are understood to be recordings of conversations between former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy about the timing of when to charge Zuma with corruption.

The tapes were used as the basis for the decision by the NPA to withdraw the charges.

The DA went to court, saying it has a right to the transcripts as it's legally challenging that decision.

It's unclear whether the NPA or Zuma will make yet another bid to prevent the disclosure of the recordings that got him off the hook.

The President is currently in Malawi and the NPA has merely acknowledged the ruling.

The DA says the ruling paves the way for a court to determine whether the decision to drop charges against Zuma was rational and lawful.

"South Africa has the right to know if there was a case against President Zuma, and if the decision by the NPA to drop the charges was rational and lawful or politically motivated. The NPA will now have to answer to this decision."

The court found that Zuma failed to produce evidence which proved that disclosure of the tapes prejudiced him in any way.

The party's James Selfe said the party is happy with the latest ruling.

"We feel vindicated in the very, very long legal battle that we've had to pursue in order to get this information. We believed all the way along that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against Jacob Zuma was irrational."

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