Armed with 'spy tapes', DA prepares to take on Zuma

The NPA officially handed over the so-called Zuma spy tapes to the party earlier today.

DA leader Helen Zille addresses the media outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 4 September, 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PRETORIA - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille says her party is now ready to begin the legal process of reviewing the fraud and corruption charges that were withdrawn against President Jacob Zuma.

The National Prosecuting Authority officially handed over the so-called Zuma spy-tapes to the party at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier today.

Zille is now confident the DA has in its possession data and documents it needs to take the next step.

"I didn't see the tapes themselves but I saw a small white envelope that was sealed with a big red sticker and I was told there was a memory stick in there, and then, I saw a big file with all the transcripts inside."

The DA leader said after the documents have been studied, the party will launch its review application of the 700 counts withdrawn against Zuma.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the presidency says Zuma has welcomed the release of the record relating to the spy tapes.

It also says these records were filed after consultation and verification by the NPA, the DA and lawyers representing the president and that this comes out of an agreement reached between all the parties and then presented to the SCA.

However, it doesn't mention that Zuma originally appealed the original decision that these tapes should be released only for his lawyer to then concede in court that he had no argument to make.

It also doesn't explain why the president appeared to delay the release of the tapes for the last five years.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) gave the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) five working days to hand over the recordings, which were used to justify the decision to withdraw corruption charges against Zuma five years ago.

The tapes allegedly reveal collusion between the former heads of the directorate of special operations, former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and NPA former head Bulelani Ngcuka to manipulate the prosecutorial process before the ANC's Polokwane conference in 2007.

Zuma was elected ANC president at the conference.

At the time, acting NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe said they showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma and so the case could not continue.

However, the DA wants the tapes to see if they do actually support that claim.