KZN slams speculation over arrests
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet expressed concern on Thursday over "media speculation" on the pending arrest of two senior ANC leaders in the province.
"[The cabinet] regards it as highly irregular and mischievous that persons are named in the media by the prosecuting authorities before they appear in court as is the usual practice," the KZN cabinet said in a statement.
"This constitutes an invasion of the individual’s Constitutional rights of dignity and the right to a fair trial."
Fraud and corruption charges
The KZN cabinet was referring to comments by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in media reports on the pending arrests of KwaZulu-Natal economic development and tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni.
Mabuyakhulu and Nkonyeni face fraud and corruption charges relating to a R1m "donation" paid by South American businessman Gaston Savoi to the ANC in 2007 in exchange for a R45m government tender.
It is alleged that normal tender processes were bypassed to award a tender to Savoi's company Intaka to supply water purification plants to hospitals and clinics in KwaZulu-Natal.
The KZN cabinet said it regarded the "media speculation" as very serious and described it as an "orchestrated manoeuvre that seeks to undermine the work of this government and create an impression that we can no longer work together".
"That is not true. We stand behind Mabuyakhulu and Nkonyeni and work on the principle of colleagues being innocent until proven otherwise. We will respect all legitimate legal processes in this matter.”