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.
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.
Lawson Naidoo – 073 158 5736
Masutane Modjadji – 076 9370825BACK TO TOP