Zuma's lawyers concede on spy tapes

The president's legal team admitted it has no argument to justify keeping the tapes a secret.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma's legal team has conceded in the Supreme Court of Appeal that it has no argument to justify keeping the so-called Zuma spy tapes a secret.

This means the court is now expected to order that the recordings must be given to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The recordings of conversations between former National Prosecuting Authority head Bulelani Ngcuka and then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy were used to justify the decision to withdraw corruption charges against Zuma after Schabir Shaik was convicted of paying him bribes.

The DA says it wants the recordings as part of its application to overturn the decision to withdraw those charges.

Under strong questioning from the judges in court this morning, Zuma's advocate Kemp J Kemp conceded he had no argument to make that would justify keeping these tapes secret any longer.

The DA's James Selfe says this means the tapes have to be released.

"The spy tapes have to be handed over to the DA and will be handed over in terms of the court ruling when it is made in due course."

Judges have now told the DA and Zuma to try and reach a settlement on other information the DA wants as part of its case that was submitted by Zuma as a reason for him not to be prosecuted.

It now appears this may mean that the five year saga around the Zuma spy tapes is about to come to an end.