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South Africa court orders release of tapes used to drop corruption charges against president

  • South Africa President-1.jpg

    FILE - In this Saturday May 9, 2009 file photo South Africa's president Jacob Zuma takes an oath during his inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, for a first term. South Africa‚Äôs Supreme Court of Appeals has ordered the release of allegedly secretly recorded audio tapes about corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma. The court in Bloemfontein on Thursday Aug. 28, 2014 ordered the release of the recordings after an appeal by opposition party Democratic Alliance. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Russia South Africa-2.jpg

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, greets his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, pool) (The Associated Press)

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeals has ordered the release of allegedly secretly recorded audio tapes about corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

The court in Bloemfontein on Thursday ordered the release of the recordings after an appeal by opposition party Democratic Alliance.

Conversations on the tapes were cited as a reason that fraud and corruption charges were dropped against Zuma before he was inaugurated in 2009. The prosecuting authority at that time said the conversations showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma, but the actual recordings were never made public.

Zuma's lawyers argued that the opposition may use the recordings for political gain. The opposition applauded the court's decision.

The National Prosecuting authority has five days to hand the tapes over.