VIDEO: Judgment reserved in SpyTapes case


Johannesburg President Zumas lawyers will be back in court on Friday, fighting an order that forces prosecutors to release so-called spy tapes. The much-discussed audio recordings are the reason Zuma's corruption charges were dropped in 2009.

Editor&39;s note: This story has been updated. Watch the recording of the live broadcast in the gallery above.

PRETORIA – Judgement was reserved on Thursday morning in the Democratic Alliance (DA) application to have the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to drop 783 charges against President Jacob Zuma set aside.

After hearing the matter for three consecutive days, deputy judge president Aubrey Ledwaba, and two other judges in the High Court in Pretoria said judgement will be communicated to the parties soon.

The charges, including fraud and racketeering, stemmed from the country’s 1999 arms deal and the decision by then acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw the case, paving the way for Zuma’s election as president the following month.

The DA went to court soon after, but the actual review has taken more than six years as a result of a lengthy case within a case to secure the release of the so-called spytapes – privately recorded tapes of phone calls Mpshe said indicated that the timing of the charges was manipulated by backers of former president Thabo Mbeki.

This morning the DA replied to lawyers for Zuma and the NPA. 

Yesterday, Advocate Kemp J Kemp SC argued that the strength of the case against Zuma was irrelevant because there had been political interference.

However the DA argued that the decision to delay charging Zuma, taken by then National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulalani Ngcuka, did not affect the case itself. Ngcuka and Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy are accused of conspiring against Zuma, by stalling his prosecution to coincide with the ANC elections, allegedly in an attempt to help former President Thabo Mbeki.