Quote of the week

The unhappy fact that it is journalists, investigating organs of state and officialdom and the political class and their involvement in corrupt practices to loot the State’s resources, who, by so doing, attract the attention of powerful and influential persons who are capable of suborning the apparatus of the State to smell out their adversaries, cannot be ignored. The examples of abuse of the system have been addressed elsewhere in this judgment. Moreover, the respondents’ perspectives assume that the designated judge is not lied to and is diligent… In my view, in the absence of a rebuttal, this example illustrates a grave vulnerability in RJCA that such an apparent abuse could occur. The common cause examples of blatant lies being told to the designated judge further exacerbates the vulnerability of the system.

Sutherland J
Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others
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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