Kasrils denies 'masterminding' decision not to prosecute Zuma

It's been reported that Kasrils was responsible for political manoeuvring at the time of the Polokwane battle.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils has denied he was the mastermind behind the decision not to charge President Jacob Zuma with corruption before the African National Congress (ANC)'s Polokwane conference in 2007.

The so-called Zuma spy tapes were handed over to the Democratic Alliance (DA) last week following a protracted legal battle.

The tapes allegedly reveal collusion between the former heads of the directorate of special operations, 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.

The recordings were used by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as justification to withdraw charges against Zuma in 2009.

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.

The Sunday Times yesterday reported that Kasrils was responsible for political manoeuvring at the time of the Polokwane battle.

But he denies this, saying he had advised former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy about charging Zuma before the conference.

"I said it would be crazy to charge before the Polokwane conference because it will be turned into a riot."

Meanwhile, DA leader Helen Zille says the party's analysis of the spy tapes has not revealed any new information that is not in the public domain.

But she says the absence of any justification for the withdrawal of charges against Zuma could have major political ramifications.

"The less there is on the spy tapes the more explosive the matter becomes because there's no legal reason that the only conclusion would be political manipulation."