Pahad: Kebble's rights ignored

2005-10-04 15:52

Cape Town - Some journalists were ignoring Brett Kebble's fundamental right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad told mourners at the mining magnate's funeral in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Pahad said Kebble's murder has thrown into sharp relief the relationship between rights and responsibilities under the South African Constitution.

In death, as in life, Kebble was a figure who generated intense controversy.

Unfortunately over the past few days the country had witnessed media speculation about Kebble that seemed to border on the obsessive.

He said articles that appeared to summarily both try and convict Kebble of past wrongdoing made a casualty of the entire Kebble family.

"The question does arise, are some of us so losing our humanity and sensitivity to pain that we do not think of the impact of what we say and write might have on the family?" Pahad asked.

Some media reports had made a casualty of the rule of law. It was imperative that both process and the law should take their course.

"Indeed we must be vigilant in our sight against crime but we must also be mindful that South Africa has lost a dedicated son against whom no case has currently been proved," Pahad said.

In a constitutional democracy such as South Africa's, one was presumed innocent until proven guilty and accorded the right to a fair trial in an impartial court of law.

"Brett it appears in death was not accorded these fundamental human rights."