Quote of the week

We’ve got a president who makes things up, and won’t retract when he’s cornered. This week press secretary Sean Spicer followed the leader. He picked up Trump’s wiretap story and added a new exciting detail: Not only had Barack Obama bugged Trump Tower, he might have used British intelligence spies to do the dirty work. The British, of course, went nuts, and national security adviser H. R. McMaster tried to smooth things over. McMaster is new to the job, having succeeded Mike Flynn, who had to resign for lying about his phone conversations. Flynn was not even around long enough for us to find out that he was also a lobbyist for Turkish interests and took $68,000 from various Russian connections.

Gail Collins
The New York Times
30 November 2011

Statement of CASAC on Willem Heath appointment as head of SIU

CASAC STATEMENT: Removal of Willie Hofmeyr as the head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and his replacement by Willem Heath.

Under the leadership of Hofmeyr the SIU, despite its limited mandate, became one of the key structures in the fight against corruption. We note that Willem Heath has had a close relationship with President Zuma, having acted as an advisor to Zuma when he was being investigated by the erstwhile Scorpions on allegations of corruption. Whilst as head of the SIU he will only investigate matters that are referred to him by the President, his independent judgment will be compromised.

 

In the light of the Constitutional Court judgment in the Glenister case calling for an effective independent body to fight corruption, this decision by the President can only serve to weaken the states capacity to tackle corruption.

 

This appointment marks another step in the process of rewarding individuals, whose independence has been compromised, dating back to the appointment of Menzi Simelane as the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

Our country needs a robust, fearless criminal justice sector in order to deal effectively with crime and corruption. This move by the President is a set-back in that quest.

 

 

ENDS

 

Enquries:

 

Lawson Naidoo – 073 158 5736

 

Masutane Modjadji – 076 9370825

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