Quote of the week

Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation.  This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.

KHAMPEPE J and THERON J
Public Protector v South African Reserve Bank (CCT107/18) [2019] ZACC 29 (22 July 2019)
27 April 2007

Curiouser and curiouser

The story of the ANC and the hoax emails just get curiouser and curiouser. According to the Mail & Guardian the ANC task team asked to investigate the matter, found that the emails were genuine in the sense that they “existed in cyberspace” – they were written and sent by individuals – and were not fabricated by NIA officials.

Now former National Intelligence Agency boss Billy Masetlha has subpoenaed ANC secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe to hand over the ruling party’s “hoax” email report.

Masetlha’s motive in summonsing Motlanthe is straightforward: he is accused of being central to the fabrication of the emails, while the report finds that other, as yet unnamed, actors are responsible. If the document goes public, the authenticity of the messages would have to be further investigated.

What I do not understand is how anyone in his or her right mind could ever have thought that the content of the emails were genuine. When the Mail & Guardian published extracts from the emails, it became clear that they were obviously false. Yet people like Kgalema Motlanthe actually seem to have believed in their authenticity.

It seems to suggest that the ANC is so riddled with infighting and some of its leaders so paranoid that they would believe in the authenticity of such crude fabrications. It is embarrassing that Motlanthe, whose name is mentioned as a compromise candidate for the ANC Presidency, could have fallen for them.

Or was he set up by pro-Mbeki people to discredit him and eliminate him from the racefor the President of the ANC? Maybe he was handed the emails and someone very influential and important whispered in his ear that the emails were genuine exactly to set him up. But even if that is the case, the fact that he could have beleived in the authenticity of the emails probably makes him too paranoid and/or stupid to become President of South Africa.

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