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)
7 November 2006

Tidbits from SCA Shaik judgement

I was struck by one paragraph in the SCA judgment in Shaik v S.

On 9 February 2000, a newspaper, City Press, reported under the heading ‘Senior defence official in arms corruption scandal’:
‘Claims under scrutiny include that:

  • a senior politician intervened to reopen negotiations for the contract to provide the corvette defence suite, after which French outfit Thomson, together with a local empowerment group, African Defence Systems, were declared the preferred bidders.
  • this was after a different local company received indications it was the preferred bidder.’

As was stated by the court below the report ‘clearly identified Thomson as one of the culprits in the allegations of corruption and left the identity of the senior politician to guesswork and rumour’. On the same day the Presidency issued a statement rejecting ‘any insinuation that Deputy President Jacob Zuma is implicated in shady arms deals’.

Zuma’s name was not mentioned in the report. Why would the office of the President issue a denial which in effect confirmed the existence of the allegations against Zuma. Grist for the mill for those who beleive in the conspiracy.

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