Heath – more egg for Radebe, Zuma

2011-12-17 13:12

One would have expected President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to be more careful with ­appointments after they got smacked by the Supreme Court of Appeal for hiring chief prosecutor Menzi Simelane.

Merely a few weeks after the Supreme Court of Appeal had lashed them for not properly scrutinising Simelane’s fitness for the job, Zuma and Radebe have, yet again, egg on their faces. This time over the 17-day tenure of former Judge Willem Heath as head of the Special Investigating Unit.

This week Heath resigned – not that he had any other options – after revealing to us that he still believed Zuma was the victim of a grand conspiracy by former president Thabo Mbeki and his prosecutions boss, Bulelani Ngcuka, to prevent him from becoming ANC president.

Heath’s views on these matters were not new. He has long been in Zuma’s corner as a lawyer-cum-strategist to get the corruption charges against him dropped. First he ­consulted Zuma personally, then the “new” ANC hired him as part of a crack team to get Zuma off the hook.

Parliament should urgently consider ­drafting new measures for the appointment of justice and security heads through an open, consultative and rigorous process.

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