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Zuma spy tapes under scrutiny

The Zuma spy tapes are being reviewed by DA lawyers & experts.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s lawyers and computer experts are now going through the Zuma spy tapes to see what they contain and whether they prove the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was right to withdraw charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009.

On Thursday, the NPA handed over the tapes to the DA, as it wants a judge to review the decision to withdraw those charges.

At the moment it appears the DA may not be able to release these tapes until they're entered into the court record, as part of its review application of the decision to withdraw corruption charges against Zuma.

DA leader Helen Zille took no chances and had a forensic expert accompany her to collect the spy tapes, to ensure the chain of evidence was not broken.

"And that we take the resource that he inspected and we look after it until it appears in a court hearing."

Zille says as soon as the documents and evidence have been studied, the party will bring a review application.

"We will argue that the NPA did not have legal reasons but had political reasons for withdrawing the charges against President Zuma."

Thus, it may only be then that South Africans are able to make up their own minds about whether the conspiracy against him and whether that means he should not face corruption charges.

However, these recordings may also show the extent to which former NPA head Bulelani Ngucka and then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy were plotting against him and whether they were acting on behalf of anyone else within the African National Congress (ANC).

These conversations were recorded in 2007, the same year Zuma won the leadership of the party from former President Thabo Mbeki.

While it is know that these are recordings of conversations between Ngucka and McCarthy, it is not known if they may reveal more about the internal conflict within the ANC in the run up to its 2007 Polokwane conference.

At the time Zuma repeatedly claimed there was a political conspiracy against him.

These tapes may prove senior ANC leaders were in fact plotting against him.

But it may not answer the legal question of whether the president should have faced corruption charges after Schabir Shaik was jailed for paying him a bribe.

Meanwhile, Zuma has welcomed this latest development.