News24

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".

Comments
  • Larry - 2011-12-13 09:02

    Bye Bye Heath, you are a disgrace to your profession.

      Jono - 2011-12-13 09:06

      And in other news around the world...a frog was sitting on a hill and then all of a sudden...he fell over

  • Spiral - 2011-12-13 09:08

    Go ANC - you're running this country into the ground & cant even see it! STILL blinded by the past hey...

      Johan - 2011-12-13 10:56

      Uhmmm.... what does this article have to do with the ANC? The article is about inappropriate comments made by a high-profile appointment and the (entirely appropriate) subsequent course of action taken by Government. Help me to understand the point you are trying to make please. Assuming of course that you have a point...

  • Marius Koen - 2011-12-13 09:11

    A pauper? Compare to the millions of poor I dont think so. Shame on you Judge.

  • Atholl - 2011-12-13 09:17

    How exactly did this 'agent' ever become a judge? Maybe an inquiry should be held into who approved his advocacy and his nomination to the bench. He was refused an early retirement - say that was 5 years ago --> Now he wants to be the Head Honcho of an investigative organisation that needs perpetual updating of its own system, process, staff, procedures and international practice. So he was too old - now at 66 he's young enough ?? Most normal 66 yr olds are found fishing, playing golf, revamping a 1958 Ford spitfire or cruising the cape on a 1986 Harley Davidson. Here we have, instead, a 66 yr old spitting ex-judge with dubious background and surprising appointment spending his time fishing for a fight.

  • claudevn - 2011-12-13 09:22

    *Not in his professional capacity? lol which other capacities were under consideration? Seeing as the first media report surrounding this came when he was appointed last week?!?!? Hmmmmmmmm..... *ponders*

  • Phumezo - 2011-12-13 09:28

    Why a sober and a well read man like Heath is being persecuted for speaking his mind for the injustices he endured during the Mbeki era? Are we not supposed to be a free, open and a just society? Why do we want to silence a man for speaking his mind! It is the same media that is calling for the firing of Mr. Heath that went to him at his comfort of his home on a weekend to get a story! Heath never woke up one day and decided that he is going to give a story to City Press! Heath made those statements in his personal capacity and have nothing to do with him executing his job with excelence and due diligence! To me this is just meant indirectly discredit Zuma and make him look stupid by the forces who are longing for a regime change in this country

      Itumeleng - 2011-12-13 10:04

      simply because we do not have time for circus, too many urgent issues need attention

      Jan - 2011-12-13 10:09

      Oh please wake up.

      Honest - 2011-12-13 10:09

      Thabo Mbeki is the one discredited at this stage as he now has been labelled by a Jacob Zuma appointee who was also JZ legal advisor during both those cases so these are the conclusions they had arrived at during the two court cases as Zuma`s camp , the Conspiracy Theory that freed Zuma from the charges. I think its good that Heath has raised their belief so that Mbeki can also defend himself and straight thereafter Jacob Zuma can also face his corruption charges properly this time. Remember this conspiracy theory prevented the court case going forward on the corruption charges , if that is proved unfounded then the case should also be put back on the roll , all must have their day in court Not in the media and political rallies .

      Nosiphom - 2011-12-13 10:11

      Because imbecile, as the head of the SIU you cannot be accusing people. And if as a head of the SIU, be it in your personal or professional capacity, he is not allowed to have opinions about people. Alternatively he should keep those opinions to himself, investigate and then comment.Otherwise he compromises the investigation. If he cannot be neutral (professionally or personally) about the guilt or innocence of any individual, he, like many of us, does not deserve to be a the head of the SIU, let alone a judge, as he does not even wait for evidence before pronouncing on the guilt of people! NB: No-one needs to discredit Zuma, he is good at doing that himself!

  • madsipho - 2011-12-13 09:31

    Do we look like idiots Mr Heath?

      Moss Mphahlele - 2011-12-13 09:36

      Not only do u look like, but sound like!!

  • Azande - 2011-12-13 09:52

    I smell trouble, the pendullum is heading for the other end. Its a plot against Mbeki. "Revenge time" for Zuma.

  • CarlS - 2011-12-13 09:56

    Fire the POS

  • Bernard - 2011-12-13 10:02

    We need a finishing school for aspiring politicians. Too often we've seen people destroy their political careers, via a lack of restraint over what is said in public. A man of the learned judges' stature should know better not to accuse a former head of state of commiting a crime, during the time he was in office. Whether these PUBLIC COMMENTS are in his personal capacity or proffessional capacity - it's simply political suicide. Unless you intend to follow through on such accusations - DON'T GO PUBLIC!!(POLITICS 101)

      Anthony - 2011-12-13 10:33

      you are so very correct bernard --given what u say this man is a disgrace to his profession clearly he has an axe to grind against mbecki why did he not make these comments before he was given his present job he does not have the morality or intelect to do his job--clearly a bitter old man my final point is that he must have made some terrible rulings as a judge,given his morality interlect and bitterness i wish some news paper would review his past judgements--i am sure many people have had a raw deal get rid if him ''not fit for purpose'

  • kgosi.otimile - 2011-12-13 10:56

    President Zuma he is good when it comes to appoint... fire... appoint... fire... Hopefully it will work one day,Lol

  • Lazialenato - 2011-12-13 11:01

    I will be very surprised if our fine feathered friend survives this, I do believe that President Zuma will do the right thing and replace him.

  • Deon - 2011-12-13 11:25

    Fire him...NO WAIT.....suspend him with full pay for 10years....that will teach him a lesson!!!!!

  • George - 2011-12-13 11:39

    The marrage is comming to an end... So long it's been good to know you

  • paul.prinsloo3 - 2011-12-13 17:34

    Totsiens ou maat, dit is so dat as iemand daartoe geneig is, die spreekwoord van toepasig word wat lui " wiens brood mens eet, wiens woord mens spreek", maar jy het die Afrikaner identiteit groot skade berokken; ons is nie bra manhaftig nie, maar ons is ook nie gatkruipers nie en Zuma is op pad uit, so wat was jou langtermyn verwagtinge?

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2011-12-13 17:37

    ...by week's end !! This cannot be. Surely he must be suspended, with full pay, for a couple of years while the powers that be apply their minds...

  • Wiseo - 2011-12-15 18:10

    It is going to be very tough to figuure out what went on here... Is this a guy with a vendetta, or is it a guy that decided to speak the truth and get it out, no matter the consequences??? The problem with the comments I see here (and frankly on most of the news articles) is that readers just assume the read the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in a news article. Think twice before you just make up your mind and start spewing words.

  • Yolisile - 2011-12-15 18:57

    He has himself to blame, verbal diarhea should be avoided at all . Nice lesson but to a wrong person bciz he is old

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