Transcript of the McCarthy recordings

As released by the National Prosecuting Authority, April 6 2009

Transcripts of recordings

The NPA has tried to be as fair as possible in its transcription of the relevant portions of the recordings.

The NPA has had to type transcript of relevant extracts ourselves as there were no official transcripts available. We have tried to take every care to ensure that they are accurate, but in some places the recordings are not very clear.

In some instances the discussion has been paraphrased.

We have covered all those parts of the recordings that are relevant or that is important for the context of the particular discussion to ensure that the context is not distorted.

We have left out those parts that are not relevant as this often deals with personal or other details.

The NPA has added comments on the recordings that explain issues that are not very clear, or where information inside the NPA by corroborates the conversations. We should stress that these are our own tentative comments and that further investigation may cast more light on these issues.

1. Date 4.11.2007 18h25 M Khumalo

a. MK: Urgent need for him to meet LM

b. LM: Koki won't arrest someone before we meet, then its ok

c. Arrange to meet on Wednesday afternoon, or have a dinner at 19h00


2. Date 7.11.2007 10h25 BN

a. LM: To come back to the thing we discussed on Sat, this matter is now up in the courts tomorrow

b. BN: not Monday

c. LM: The second thing is, I, remembering what you said on Saturday, I read yesterday's Business Day editorial, you must just read it

d. BN: Just remind me

e. LM: yes, its in line with your thinking

f. BN: Laughs

g. LM: I am serious

Apparent reference to the enclosed Business Day editorial of 6.11.07. The editorial is of the view that it appears to benefit Mr Mbeki when Mr Zuma is not facing charges

h. LM: The third issue is, I met with the guy I mentioned, and you know his line is almost like that of Sam

i. BN: Laughs

j. LM: But he said he will. He says he will speak to the man but his he is back over the weekend, but he knew, he feels very strongly that I should not see the guy directly

k. LM: So that he has a shield, so that if this issue comes up then he can say "I don't know what the fuck you are talking about"

There is regular reference to the need to meet or discuss with "the man", "the other fellow" or "guy" or "he". In calls 17, 21, 25, 26, 28 it is clear that it is the President. In most other cases it is not clear who is meant.

l. BN: Have you read the Business day today

m. LM: No I haven't

n. BN: its on that line, its says, I said, it says he knew about my statement beforehand,

o. LM: Is it?

p. BN: I don't know where he got it from but certainly that fellow never spoke to me



Apparent reference to the enclosed Business Day article of 7.11.07. It discusses the Gevisser book which states that Mr Mbeki asked Mr Zuma to resign before the prima facie statement

q. BN: But it is still long way away (before you go)

r. LM: The thing is happening in January boss, we even discussed it 

s. BN: Why do you wake me up in the morning for that:

Possible reference to LM appointment to World Bank in Jan 08

t. LM: no, no, the main thing is really my meeting with the other guy and what came out of it and the fact that this judgement is on us much quicker than what I thought, and I really I need to make a call

u. LM: because I am told our guy has slipped out in the media saying he wants nothing to do with it

v. BN: yes

w. LM: - your acting ..

x. BN: I know

Meet with other guy



Apparent reference to NDPP stating that it will be decision for the DSO to take

y. BN: you know very interesting there is different points of view across the board

z. LM: You don't want to join this dinner with Mzi? 

aa. BN: No, you will see, his view is completely opposite - he agrees with you. He and Sam agree with you. We had dinner on Sunday, quite a number of people, mine was there, Dlamini? was there

i. I put a hypothetical question to them, let's assume the judgement comes out in next few weeks and its in favour of those guys, what must happen by when?

ii. Mzi was the only one on that table who said lets do it now, he was the only one

iii. If he tells you the truth he and tells you that, everyone there disagreed with him

Discussion of timing of charge of Mr Zuma. Khumalo appears to be only one who supports LM in view that it should happen before Polokwane

3. Date: 7.11.2007 13h23 BN

a. LM: I was not sure what wicket we ended

b. ....

c. LM: I am not sure, did we say

d. BN: I said when you are done with Mzi, where are you eating

e. LM: I don't know

f. BN: He did not tell you where you are eating, are you coming to Johannesburg


g. LM: The other things is, are you now not going to see me as you initially indicated because I remember you said you might want to speak to me

h. BN: I said I will wait until we hear what this other fellow is saying and then ill also talk to him, as I said to you

i. BN: there is not a wrong or right question about this thing here

j. BN: Nobody actually knows what the presentation is likely to be

k. LM: Maybe one should look at the aftermath, after 3 days,

l. BN: Exactly, exactly, lets see whats going to be, but I can tell you know, you know, I can even see his people

m. I saw the article only now, the one that you referred to 

n. LM: There is also an editorial that I haven't read, try and read last week's, I mean yesterdays

o. BN: I will try to get it

Continued discussion



















4. Date 9.11.07 13h55 BN

a. LM : do you have Mzi's company name, I offered him a book and bottle of wine, I need his address my guys cant find it

b. LM : to have it delivered

c. BN: So therefore ...

d. LM : No, no, we, I am also now studying the judgement you see, like a good coloured

e. BN: But these guys have already said they are taking the matter up

f. LM: Ja, But this does not mean that one has to hang up on there, you know, that we,

g. BN: I agree with you

h. LM: But I want to just, I am seeing the guys ... get a sense of their views, think things over it, this is a legal issue, we will get to the right decision

i. LM: But nothing will happen in a rush, it is not going to happen that will not be that we tell them on Wed come and appear on Thursday






Discussion of SCA judgement










5. Date 26.11.07 20h43 M Khumalo

a. MK: Congratulations

b. LM: There is nothing on our database

c. MK: I will ask him for the names of the people who came to search here

d. LM: Try to find out whether it is DSO or police

Assisting Khumalo with information regarding a raid on his businesses premises

6. Date 26.11.07 20h43 BN

a. LM: I just thought I would check how you are doing

b. BN: I am not doing very well at all, not very well at all. I am so shocked, trying to work on it, it's the shock. I need time to work on it, just been shocked, just been shocked, shocked ...

c. BN: all the other stuff went the way we talked about it, remember I said we probably get 5 - we got all the 4 we said we were going to get. And, but the way we lost in the provinces where we were going to lose - still even now I cant explain, I don't understand it, I cant find that there are only 9 people in the whole province of Natal....

d. BN: discusses results .... It is not natural to have such huge majorities in a province ...that one is not normal ...

e. LM: There is something wrong there - and also , that is my first reaction, it is actually two fold. it is either that the one side deliberately is obfuscating the issue, no go and vote and the real picture will emerge at the conference or these guys cooked the books ...

f. BN: In Natal I mean the comrades did say to them look guys vote for this guy know on the first round, don't show your hand because these guys might basically disqualify you from attending the conference

Following a discussion about ANC provincial nomination conferences


g. BN: So you the only one who can just save this country from its madness

h. LM: hmm

i. BN: You know

j. BN: I just cant believe it, I really cant believe it, I don't know, so we also busy now

k. LM: Hmm

l. BN: And a

m. LM: And what does the big man say, is he oraait,

n. BN: I don't know,

o. BN: I want to, I will try to call him later tonight, he is in a meeting the whole day, at Shell house of all places (laughs)


p. BN: I am not doing well, I am now going to compete with you for that job at the WB


q. LM: I did what you said I should do, I must say

r. BN: you did right, right thing

s. LM: ,up until Friday, I received a strong memorandum to say charge and charge now -

t. BN: Friday

u. LM: No this Friday, the team says we have been fucking around with this thing, we are allowing ulterior considerations to come in, it will become an impossibility later - we now must take action and deal with "finish and klaar" as Jackie Selebi says, but we will talk when I see you

Following a discussion about ANC provincial nomination conferences, LM is the only one who can save the country











Appears as if BN requested that LM obtain the view of the team to bolster the argument that charges should brought before Polokwane (in case it was needed)

7. Date 6.12.07 11h07 BN

a. BN: I am in Kimberley, do you have contacts here

b. LM: only (mentions 2 names)

c. BN: I am thinking which delegates I can go and see, who can take me to delegates

d. LM: I don't have sufficient contacts, the one guy who might be a contact we are on verge of charging

BN request LM to identify potential ANC conference delegates in Kimberley to be lobbied

8. 12.12.07 Wednesday 10h15 SMS exchange BN & LM

a. BN: When are you filing

b. LM: We're stretched. It has tripled in size now. Likely to file tomorrow afternoon or Friday afternoon only. What up!

c. BN: The sooner the better. Not later than tomorrow. It will assist a great deal

Refers to the NPA's reply to Mr Zuma's application for leave to appeal to the Con Court in the search warrant matter. It was due on 14 Dec.

9. Date Wednesday 12.12.07 10h41 BN


a. LM: We must have one of those Yengeni nights - remember we said we will not leave this fucking hotel until its done

The reference is to a meeting with Mr Yengeni's lawyers that lasted late into the night

b. BN: If this thing comes out the way we discussed it yesterday,

i. those key issues, right

ii. it will be a devastating one for them,

iii. and it will cause people to wake up to know what they are actually doing

iv. without being dramatic, without you making arrests,

v. it will say, this is what we have this is what we have, and we are forced to state it now and people will wake up think what are we doing

c. LM: Friday, by Friday people are packing bags, they won't even read the fucking newspapers

d. BN: That is the thing, that is the thing, that is why it will be good if it could come out today (ie Wednesday)

e. LM: Today is difficult, I will call a Yengeni night, we are not leaving here until we finalise this tomorrow morning, we file by lunch time and give it to the media,

f. BN: You made my day

This is a discussion about the need to file the Con Court papers earlier so that it can be reported in the newspapers before the delegates leave for Polokwane.

10. Date Thursday cell 13.12.07 12h20 BN

a. LM: What is the mood like?

b. BN: Is it out?

c. LM: no no, I am just checking the pulse of securities

d. LM: You know, I thought I will give call you once a day, twice a day to hear whether the position has not changed

e. That thing will only be filed tomorrow

i. ...

ii. I can only get so much out of these guys, we only worked to 10 past 11

iii. The kid wants to go on leave, Trengove is on leave and wants to see it as he has to argue it in court,

iv. So we will probably only file tomorrow at about 12h50, we have a date for 10 to 1

f. BN: how does it look

g. LM: its ugly, you need someone who can nitpick and read through all that shit of 212 pages, and look at para 79 ...

h. BN: Can you deliver a draft to my place?

i. BN: I will be in Johannesburg

j. LM: I will get, I will rather come myself, I don't want to take changes

k. BN: No I will be late tonight,

l. LM: I will wait for you, or see you first thing in morning. I don't want intermediaries here,

m. BN: ok, your right,

n. LM: Zuma will say we are conspiring against him

o. LM: can I ask, the script has not changed yet,

p. BN: Ya, no

q. LM: because (do/don't) feel like going to Polokwane and charging him there

Cont discussion about the need to file Con Court papers earlier


The position or script are apparent references to whether Mr Zuma should be charged before or after Polokwane




LM undertakes to deliver a draft of the Con Court papers to BN personally to avoid it becoming known








It is unclear whether he says he "do" or "don't" want to do this

r. LM: But listen, I think you guys must just keep your heads open about the "when" factor because I mean we will file our docs tomorrow, we will, Mpshe is going on leave tomorrow and I am acting.




s. LM: We will have our section 2e order and our, our ... we will have finalized the processing of the decision




The when factor is an apparent reference to whether Mr Zuma should be charged before or after Polokwane.


The "s2(e) order" is a reference to the need for the NDPP to authorise all racketeering prosecutions

t. BN: As long as you don't do it this weekend

u. LM: If we hold it back, it will be because the clever people like you and others are saying to us that the country needs cool heads but I would hate to have be seen to be wrong later 

v. BN: just don't do it this weekend

w. LM: it might change 

x. BN: I cant keep an open mind, you can't do it this weekend, our minds wont change

y. The exchange is repeated several times

z. BN: Just don't do it this weekend

aa. LM: I wont move this weekend, if this change, just let us know

bb. BN: it wont change

BN makes it clear that they do not want Mr Zuma to be charged before Polokwane despite the fact that everything is in place to do so

11. 14 Dec 07 10h32 Min of Justice

a. LM briefs the Minister of Justice regarding the filing of papers in the Constitutional Court.


12. Date Friday 14.12.07 10h53 BN

a. LM: are you in position where I can drop something off or send someone to drop something off

b. BN: drop it at home, not there yet 

c. LM: the one thing is a 8 pager, which you should read because it deals with whatever is new

i. The rest is just same shit we have heard for the last 3 years

d. ....

e. LM: I want to get this to you, I can't leave it in envelope with drivers and things it is too risky. My guy can drive to where you are and give it to you

f. BN: its not possible, in East London

g. LM: Can also fax it to you,

h. BN: I will give you a fax no

i. LM: You must physically stand there and wait for it


LM prepares and sends a short summary of key issues that are newsworthy to BN for apparent distribution to the media

13. Date Friday 14.12.07 12h03 SMS BN

a. BN: The fax number is 040 653 2223. Thanks


14. Date Friday 14.12.07 12h32 SMS BN

a. BN: I am standing next to the fax machine. Hope you wont forget me.


15. Date Friday 14.12.07 12h43 SMS BN to LM

a. BN at 12h43: Got it. Thank you very much

b. LM at 12h56: Hold onto it for a while, until ..


16. Date Friday 14.12.07 BN 13h08

a. LM: I just wanted to say its been filed, I am told you can show it even to the guy on the beachfront

b. LM: It is in court, anyone can access it - I just got an sms, it was filed 3 min ago

c. ...


LM informs BN that papers have been filed and can be distributed

17. Date 16.12.07 15h13 BN

a. BN: am back, I need to chat to you,

b. BN: we must chat, ne

c. LM: ja

d. BN: I had a chat with this fellow, he's going to call you immediately after conference. I met him yesterday, I need to chat to you about it 

e. ...


Apparent arrangement to meet the President

18. Date 16.12.07 SMS exchange between Luciano to LM

a. LM: cats look defeated

b. LM: I have been advised to give Ouboet & Oujan a break in the interest of SA.... Tenous times. QV?

c. L: O Tempores a mores! Cui Bono? Primus Salus Pro Familia McCarthy et facimus novae vitae.

d. LM: Don't have a dictionary, Meaning....?

e. L: Tell you when I see you next wk for delivery of Christmas presents

f. LM: Too Late

g. L: Who is asking you?

h. LM: High Power, can't disclose. Gov in power. Undertaking.

i. L: What did Jesus say? Give to the emperor what is due to him and to the church what is due to her. You serve at the pleasure of the emperor. Any other choice wld mean not serving at the pleasure of the emperor

j. LM: I hear you emperor sir. They're asking for a review. What

k. L: Primus salus amicus et familia. That's the motto

l. LM: Yea. Threatening to expose no. 1

m. L: Approach hold even if Lume looses (sic)

As far as can be established, Luciano is a private intelligence operative


Ouboet is Mr Selebi

Oujan is probably Mr Zuma


The Christmas present appears to be information of some kind that is required


Presumably a review of the cases


"Lume" is nickname for Mr Mngwengwe, the Investigating Director of the DSO

19. Date 17.12.07 SMS exchange between Luciano to LM

a. L: Thought over night - 1. Recommend we help you find 2 sympathetic and credible international lawyers that can join each of the 2 reviews.


2. International component important for SA's reputation and your own. If carefully selected will support objective.


3. In ouboet's case need international component to deal decisively with o sullivan factor. Matter also high profile given K allegations, media interest and focus on crime in lead up to 2010.


4. Iro Oujan recommend a comprehensive review is done of ALL MLA and prosecution cases are done flowing from arms deal not just his by review panel with international lawyers as you originally recommended. cont


5. You can then deal with oujan in context of broader review.


6. If you are going to do this in interest of SA recommended you request


6.1 You submit review report to Special Committee of 4 ministers justice, intel, foreign affairs and safety and security. Do not take sole responsibility. Yr current line management structure will result in sole responsibility.


6.2 Recommend you come to clear agreement about SAG support for the next phase of yr career including a date.


6.3 You are going to need resources incl special budget because above all the media will have to be managed locally and globally. End.


Proposal for what appears to be a further review panel for the Selebi (and Zuma) matters

The Selebi review panel had concluded its work at the end of November 2007.


K is probably Kebble
















SAG = SA Government? The review panels appear to be linked to the future World Bank position

20. Date 17.12.07 SMS exchange between Luciano to LM

a. Thank you Captain. I'll digest. Will see what happens tomorrow. We'll talk when you're here. Keep Well. Luciano


21. Date 17.12.07 BN 19h41

a. ...

b. BN: We do need to chat, but this one is going to call you when he gets back before he leaves for Christmas

Appears to confirm meeting with the President

22. Date: 18.12.07 22h10 Mzi Khumalo

a. MK: Welcome back, this is a bad day for the whole country

b. LM: I am shocked ..

c. LM: I was given all these assurances, that scores are being made up, that the backlog is being worked away, that the guys are confident.

d. ...

e. MK: Very early in the year, we must now sit and talk seriously about what we are going to do.

f. LM: Hmm...

g. LM: Did you get wine and book I sent you ...

h. LM: Lets be merry, fest off and we will live to regroup another day, lets wipe the blood off our faces. Hey, I feel bad about it, my wife says to me you look like you lost your mother, I don't feel good about it 


Discussion with Khumalo, including the need to regroup

after result of the election of the ANC president was announced

23. Date 19.12.07 12h26 SMS BN to LM

a. BN: From now onwards you are on your own. It is imperative that you finalise your future plans pronto.

b. LM: sorry

c. Thanks, it's a sad day for our country

The morning after result of the election of the ANC president was announced

24. Date 19.12.07 12h26 BM

a. LM: how are things going, are things ok

b. BN: how can you ask that question, you know the agenda, you are a lawyer

c. BN: what can they do, I don't work for them, there are 2 things they can do to me

d. BN: Firstly, they can harass and detain me day in and day out - have been through those things with the previous regime...

e. BN: No 2, I am not ashamed of the things I did, will stand my ground and fight them back ...

f. BN: and secondly, I don't think they want to do anything to me, they don't want to, they needed me, you know, they were campaigning on this ticket, of being a victim, that there was a conspiracy hatched by Mbeki and they used me to implement that. For which he compensated me by giving my wife Zuma's job



Discuss outcome of Polokwane and possible harassment of BN

g. BN: What I meant about my message to you was, it is important that you sort out where you are going, immediately. And I think that the sooner you get out of that place, the better for you. Let them sort out their mess, this is not your responsibility, they want to sort out the mess, let them sort it out themselves

h. BN: There is nobody who will be covering your back, you are exposed completely, and I don't think you deserve that 

i. LM: I am still shocked, I must say this ...

j. BN: I am not worried about myself, they can try to harass me ..

k. LM: you are saying I should leave this decision and let other people deal with it because

l. BN: I never said that, I never said that, I am just talking about you, knowing where you are going, and securing that immediately. I am just talking about you, not talking about your work. I am talking about you as a person, your work is your work, you deal with it, but your person, I don't think you must find ...I can afford, am independent, I don't do business with government

m. LM: No orrait, we will see how things, I mean is the government going to do anything. Is the government going to hustle together or carry on with their lives over Christmas...

n. BN: wont see anything till mid January, people will rest now and see how things pan out

Refers to SMS above and to protect LM for the future







Made clear that LM must still continue to take the decision on Mr Zuma

25. Date Wednesday 19.12.07 BN 16h06

a. BN: Hi

b. LM: I say we want to move on Friday

c. BN: ok

d. LM: We have become so accustomed to checking with everyone whether they think it is fine ... and we have a minister who ... is going on holiday 

e. LM: I don't know if that other call you referred to will ever come, these guys are still humiliated

f. LM: The longer we delay, the worse it becomes, we make it impossible for ourselves to proceed. If the guy wants us to meet and um .. and just do it

g. BN: Ja



Probably Friday, 21 Dec




Possible reference to meeting with President

26. Date: 19.12.07 18h41 Minister of Justice, President

a. Min: There is no any emergency or anything?

b. LM: there are things I need to discuss some things, including the Zuma case but it will be difficult to see you before 8th. But I need to see you, even if just for an hour

c. Min: Under pressure here under Jackie's matter, how did it go to media now, that you have given the Minister a report, we have taken a decision 

d. LM: Said to Tlali to try and keep this quiet ...Don't know where Willie stands on this, but it is clear to me that this things have now shifted that we are not going to brief the Minister on anything. We have already taken decision

e. Min: Not thanks Leonard, Phone is handed to President

f. Pres: er, advocate, how are you?

g. LM: I am well, I am well, thank you

h. Pres: Do you know who is speaking?

i. LM: it sounds like the President?

j. Pres: Yes

k. LM: How are you President?

l. Pres: You have to choose Leonard now whether you say former President or President

m. LM: You will always be my president, you will always be my president

n. Pres: Leonard, I wanted to just to say that Minister told me some time back you had asked to see me,

o. LM: yes

p. Pres: and indeed I had agreed, but then I, you know, and I, you will have seen my busy-ness, I get so busy up and down and so on

q. LM: ja

r. Pres: She reminded me about this, and I said to her no, as soon as come back from here, before I disappear on some short holiday, ok I will try and sort it out

s. Pres: I should be able to call you back on Fri

t. LM: I will be here

u. Phone is handed back to Minister

Discussion with Minister and President regarding meeting

27. Date: 20.12.07 SMS LM and Luciano

a. L: what time would be good for me to bring Christmas presents tomorrow morning?

b. LM: Court Classique (gives address)

c. L: I will be there. See you at 9. Thanks


Delivery of "Christmas presents"

28. Date: about 24.12.07 11h49 Voicemail to F Davids

a. LM: Davids, uh, McCarthy here, give me a ring please, you send me ‘n gevaarlike sms here just before Christmas. I am Thabo man, I mean we are still wiping the blood from our faces, or egg, or egg and blood from our faces. Saw the man on Friday evening, we planning a comeback strategy. And once we have achieved that, we will clean up all around us my friend. Bye

Allegiance to Mr Mbeki, confirm that they met, and "we" are planning a comeback strategy

29. Date: 29.12.07 Minister of Justice

a. LM: Since I spoke to you in Cape Town about my own intentions for the future, I met the President and wanted to give you feedback

b. Min: 2 things, the one: umm, the heat is on

c. Min: I did ask Mpshe, Because you know, you sit in the NEC, I said to Mpshe, there is no ways people will accept as fair if you guys go on to prosecute sooner, not like immediately, but sooner, otherwise they will read conspiracy, and really the situation is bad. ..

d. Min: And that is why they are pushing German thing , they are saying that here is dirty linen and there is other dirty linen in the cupboard- we must not think that these things will not come up later

e. Min: I said to Mpshe, Mpshe, why, he then said Billy and them are pressing for sooner, and said that they are angry about the slight delay

f. LM: No that was me

g. Min: I then said to him, why you objectively as prosecutors can't approach the JP and say this thing is going to take place and say this is a priority thing and what

h. Min: So No 1 phoned me this afternoon and say how do you charge now, appear in court starting in august?, because it is further on, you know what I mean.

i. LM: ya

j. Min: I said no, I did say to no .. it is prudent to go the route of you know should be no real big gap

k. LM: Let me explain to Min what happened,

i. Firstly we took the decision on technically already on the 19 th there, was a slight defect in the charge sheet which caused it to have it re-signed on the 24 th.

ii. We then could not hold of them, could not get sense of where they are and how we serve on them. We then looked at law, the law says we at the official address of the person, we could not do it on 27th and then did on 28 th

iii. Hulley would not answer the phone

iv. The decision was taken on the 19 th, but then there was a technical defect and the sheriff wanted more copies and then there were small mistakes that Tanda made and I got him to sign again on the 24th.

v. We tried to get Hulley on the day to arrange a date, but he would not pick up the phone.

vi. We then we went to the JP's office, the registrar informed us that the first semester was already fully booked. That is why it was set down for August.


 Internally, it appears that the decision was made on 21 Dec, the same date LM met with the President

30. Date 9.1.08

a. LM: Can we speak on this line, is it prudent to speak on the phone 


In Feb 2008 LM receives a copy of an intercept of a call from his cell phone (recently published in a court case)

31. Date 10.1.08

a. LM: Can we speak on this line

32. Date 3.4.08

a. Discuss the fact that he had been approached by World Bank and offered the position


World Bank position

33. Date 7.4.08

a. BN: They are going to release you, that's in December, they have known that


Discuss that the President and Minister will release him for World Bank

Issued by the National Prosecuting Authority, April 6 2009

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