A masterclass in truth avoidance

2013-08-18 10:00

As South Africans, it is frequently expected of us to swallow protestations of innocence by our politicians, despite the damning evidence that is often in plain sight.

So we swallowed hard when President Jacob Zuma told us he knew nothing about a jet carrying his friends’ wedding guests that was allowed to land at an air force base. For months we’ve been choking on the at least R206?million taxpayers coughed up for “security upgrades” to Zuma’s palatial home.

The latest example of this is the alleged “Second Agenda” aimed at protecting “Number One” and other ANC leaders at the arms deal commission of inquiry.

Last week, City Press revealed that 3.4?million pages of evidence gathered by the Scorpions lay unexamined in two shipping containers at the Hawks’ headquarters.

In a press release, the commission said it intended to lead testimony about this evidence from certain witnesses.

But it appears that Judge Willie Seriti, who chairs the commission, may have been caught in at least one lie.

In February, he wrote a letter that said “no evidence implicating the ANC has been brought to the attention of the commission”.

This statement is baffling, considering Seriti had been told about the shipping containers at least five months earlier.

The evidence in these containers is believed to relate to several ANC politicians.

If swallowing lies in the face of plain-sight evidence is a “duty” of South African citizenship, Seriti appears to be a patriot.

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