Heath outcome by week's end - report

2011-12-13 08:56
Johannesburg - Newly appointed Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Willem Heath will know the outcome of an investigation into his comments against former president Thabo Mbeki by the end of the week.

"The [justice] minister has indicated that it is going to take a few days before this process is concluded and the expectation is that it should be concluded before the end of this week," department of justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali told SAFm news.

"It could really just translate into the minister seeking to meet further with advocate Heath or maybe consult with any other stakeholder, who in the opinion of the minister is considered to be relevant, so that at the end of it all, the minister is able to prepare a report and submit it to the president for his consideration."

Last week President Jacob Zuma requested Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to assist his office in an investigation into Heath's accusations against Mbeki.

Heath told the City Press newspaper earlier this month that Mbeki had allegedly initiated rape and corruption charges against Zuma.

He also told the Sunday newspaper that Mbeki allegedly abused his position to compromise the criminal justice system by blocking some investigations into corrupt practices.

Own capacity

Radebe said in a statement on Saturday that his office would look into the validity of the media reports and the possible implications thereof.

"It is important that we attend to the allegations, whether factual or not, in order to ascertain the impact such comments could have on the government if found to be true," he said.

Radebe, together with the director general in his department, Nonkululeko Sindane, had met with Heath on Tuesday to understand the context of the interview with the City Press.

In the same meeting, Heath indicated that the comments were not made in his professional capacity as the head of the SIU.

Heath was appointed by Zuma in November to replace Willie Hofmeyr as the head of SIU.

He was first appointed by former president Nelson Mandela in 1996 to establish the SIU. Heath however, resigned in 2001 after the Constitutional Court found that a sitting judge could not head a long-term investigating unit.

The City Press also reported that Mbeki, who was president at the time, refused to grant Heath an early retirement and as a result he had to resign - a decision that, according to Heath, left him a "pauper".
- SAPA
Read more on:    siu  |  thabo mbeki  |  jacob zuma  |  willem heath  |  jeff radebe
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