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Zuma can appeal 'spy tapes' ruling

The South Gauteng High Court granted President Jacob Zuma leave to appeal the earlier judgment.

President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria, 29 Novemebr 2012. Picture: Elmond Jiyane

JOHANNESBURG - The South Gauteng High Court on Friday granted President Jacob Zuma leave to appeal an earlier judgment, forcing the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) to surrender the so-called spy tapes.

The battle is now set to go before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.

The tapes were central to a 2009 decision by the NPA to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

Judge Rammaka Mathopo's ruling took less than a minute to deliver.

"There are different interpretations contended for by the parties. In my view, it's a matter which requires the attention of the SCA to finally decide as to the correct interpretation to be accorded to the order."

The DA had argued that Zuma failed to show how he would be prejudiced by the release of the recordings.

Zuma's lawyers argued that private representations made to the NPA must remain confidential.

Arguing for the president, Advocate Kemp J Kemp said the confidentiality of the representations is an absolute given.

He also said allowing the DA's lawyers to see the material without showing it to their clients is equivalent to making the goat the gardener, arguing that this would put the lawyers in a difficult and impractical position.

Mathopo fired a number of questions at Kemp.

He wanted to establish why the case should return to the SCA where it has already been heard.