Zille receives Zuma 'spy tapes'

The DA leader said it has taken five years and six court cases to reach this stage.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille and forensic experts verify materials from the National Prosecuting Authority on the Zuma spy tapes on 4 September 2014. Picture: Twitter via DA-News.

PRETORIA - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken possession of a recording of the so-called Zuma spy tapes.

The recording was handed over to DA leader Helen Zille on a memory stick at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Addressing the media outside the court before the hand over, Zille said South Africa's democracy depended on the delivery of the so-called Zuma spy tapes, which will pave the way for a review of the corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

Zille said it has taken five years and six court cases to reach this stage, stressing that everyone is equal before the law.

She said this matter involves more than 700 counts of corruption, money laundering and racketeering, which were withdrawn against the president.

The DA leader said South Africans need to know if the charges were withdrawn for political reasons to enable Zuma to be elected as president.

She said if the NPA became a political tool, then it would be used to protect political friends and persecute enemies.

Dozens of DA supporters gathered outside the court waiting for the NPA to hand over the recordings.

Chants of "give us the tapes" filled Madiba Street in front of the court where the legal battle to have the decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma reviewed started in 2009.

DA supporters in their blue shirts were joined by their Economic Freedom Fighters counterparts who are wearing their signature red berets.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must hand over the recordings to the DA, so it can use them as part of its legal bid to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma.

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.

It could still be some time before the recordings are made public, as experts need to authenticate them and make sure they haven't been edited.