Quote of the week

It is necessary that the integrity of the electoral process be maintained. Indeed, the acceptance of the election as being free and fair depends upon that integrity. Elections must not only be free and fair but they must be perceived as being free and fair. Even-handedness in dealing with all political parties and candidates is crucial to that integrity and its perception by voters. The Commission must not be placed in a situation where it has to make ad hoc decisions about political parties and candidates who have not complied with the Act. The requirement that documents must be submitted to the local offices of the Commission does not undermine the right to vote and to stand for election. It simply gives effect to that right and underscores the decentralised and local nature of municipal elections.

Ngcobo CJ
Electoral Commission of the Republic of South Africa v Inkatha Freedom Party
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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