Is Guptagate defamation case being ‘stalled’?

2014-05-06 00:00

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL Christine Anderson is suing the Minister of Justice for defamation and she hopes to end the ongoing Gupta saga with two other legal actions.

The public protector (PP) is meanwhile considering subpoenaing the head of the inter-departmental task team that investigated the Gupta landing at Waterkloof air base, to react to complaints.

The defamation claim against Justice Minister Jeff Rabebe stems from his statements on behalf of the inter-ministerial task team that released a report shortly after the Guptas’ landing.

A decision by the PP will support the defamation claim.

Advocate Pikkie Greeff of the SA National Defence Force Union, who represents Anderson, said yesterday Radebe had announced in his interim report that Anderson and head of state protocol Bruce Koloane had conspired to commit an offence.

“This was before any proper investigation was completed. We all know after the investigation that Christine did not commit any offence.

Greeff said the PP had already interviewed both Christine and Koloane.

Spokesperson for the PP Oupa Segalwe said Nonkululeko Sindane, the director-general of justice who headed the task team, had cancelled several appointments with Anderson to meet on the allegations made in the task team’s short statement.

She is also not reacting to the PP’s questions, forcing the protector’s office to subpoena her.

Apart from the defamation claim against Radebe, Anderson’s legal team is also busy with a civil claim against the SANDF for malicious prosecution, as well as a high court application to force the SANDF to make a decision.

Anderson and her co-accused in the case, Lieutenant Colonel Stefan van Zyl, have been waiting for six months on the SANDF to make a decision on whether they will go on trial or whether the case against them will be withdrawn.

Anderson’s legal team will give the SANDF an ultimatum to announce a decision on the matter.

“The civil claim against the SANDF continues regardless of the decision it takes,” Greeff said.

He said an unofficial instruction had allegedly been to kept the case on ice until after the election.

SANDF chief General Solly Shoke told sister paper Beeld last week the case must go to court in order to get to an independent decision.

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