Heath too partisan to head SIU: Zille
Cape Town - New SIU head Willem Heath's outspoken support for President Jacob Zuma shows he is too partisan to hold the post, DA leader Helen Zille said on Monday.
Zille said the Democratic Alliance had serious concerns about Heath's suitability when his appointment was announced last week.
These had been exacerbated by statements he made in an interview with City Press published on Sunday.
"It is clear from this interview that advocate Heath has involved himself in factional ANC politics and aligned himself politically on the side of President Jacob Zuma," Zille said.
"This raises serious questions as to whether he will be able to objectively and impartially conduct investigations into corruption at all levels of government."
The DA feared Zuma was trying to assert control over independent institutions in the run-up to the ANC's elective conference next year by placing people loyal to him in command of them, Zille said.
She said she would write to Zuma to ask his reasons for replacing Willie Hofmeyr, who led the Special Investigating Unit for nearly a decade, with Heath.
Heath told City Press that Zuma's rape trial five years ago had been marked by political meddling from then president Thabo Mbeki.
Political analyst Steven Friedman told Business Day the comments demonstrated that Heath "is not fit" to head the SIU.