News24

Heath's attitude to judiciary 'risky'

2011-12-06 18:35

Cape Town - Special Investigating Unit head Willem Heath's "controversial attitude" towards the judiciary is too risky for his position, Cope said on Tuesday.

"In a position of this nature we need a person who is independent and not partisan," Congress of the People parliamentary leader Mosiuoa Lekota said.

Heath's questioning of the judiciary without providing tested evidence was risky in a position of such power, he said.

In an interview with the City Press on Sunday, Heath was quoted saying that former president Thabo Mbeki had "dictated" to the National Prosecuting Authority in President Jacob Zuma's rape and corruption trial five years ago. Zuma was acquitted of rape in 2006.

Corruption charges against him were dropped in 2009.

Heath was quoted saying that Judge Hilary Squires's judgment in the Schabir Shaik corruption trial was flawed as there wasn't sufficient evidence to convict him. Shaik was Zuma's financial adviser.

"Whatever so called information or evidence advocate Heath relies upon to question the findings of the courts is irrelevant until it has been tested under cross-examination," Lekota said.

Zuma appointed Heath last Tuesday to replace Willie Hofmeyr as SIU head. Hofmeyr now only heads the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

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

Comments
  • Larry - 2011-12-06 18:43

    Heath is Zumas man. He has a shonky past and should not hold any position in the Judiciary , the Law, or the Government.

      Gollum - 2011-12-06 22:11

      Heath's credibility has been nose-diving for quite a while and is currently in a long-drop. How much further down can it go? Well, with his latest brown-nosing it seems like it's not levelling out any time soon

  • Irene - 2011-12-06 18:49

    I sure don't trust Heath. Anyone who is willing to work for the ANC and Zoomer is guilty by association.

  • Marius Koen - 2011-12-06 18:53

    I wonder what Heath has been promised by Zuma.

      Grant - 2011-12-06 19:02

      The position is a reward for the help he gave zooma in getting his corruption and fraud charges squashed. But he now owes zooma and will have to dance to the 'machine gun tune'

      Atholl - 2011-12-06 19:24

      The Masters (who are servants to the Grand Masters) who have a useful task to pull the strings of puppets prefer to be close to the puppet. Masters, especially the overconfident ones, always leave a trail:: ... a pattern of conduct ... that even they are oblivious to .... At the very least -- especially if all know that the useful Master-servant's credibility is tarnished -- the useful Master-servant will gradually reveal the identities of the other Grand Masters.

  • colin.dovey - 2011-12-06 19:03

    AGAIN Zuma's skewed lack of leadership skills, and a partisan attitude to cadre appointment is demonstrating a skewed "logic" beyond belief. He is, without doubt the worst example we could have hoped for, and has now become a an embarrassment on the SA and International stage.

      Anthony - 2011-12-06 19:20

      my concern is this ---given we now know that heath is zumas 'man' and given we now know that he is a loose cannon----this brings up serious questions about the body of work he has done before this as a judge ---i am sure that if a journalist investigated many of the 'judges' past rulings before this,many of them will have been flawed and biased i am sure as a judge u need to be absolutely impartial

      Atholl - 2011-12-06 21:15

      Good point, Anthony ... and ... besides scrutiny of Heath's own conduct as a judge ... What opinion does this 'Super Lawyer' have of the other 'not-so-super' Judges? Why does Heath not provide an opinion an all judges? both currently sitting and retired?

  • eradingoana - 2011-12-06 19:18

    Heath is looking for a ministry position in Zuma's government. Hopefully he would be the Minister of Late Evidence in Zuma 's next cabinet reshuffle. Where was he with this evidence all along? I have never heard a man of his position stating that. If not paid, there must have been a meeting a Luthuli House. This is Zuma's Top Corruption Guard.

  • frank.hartry - 2011-12-06 19:42

    Heath is a very dangerous man because he is a loyal sycophant of Zuma whom he worships as a god. Heath is compltetely out of his depth. Just listen to him talk. He will defend Zuma to the death. Lets hope that Mbeki will sue this idiot for every penny. His cotention that Mbeki can organise a the alleged rape by Zuma and Zuma's corruption allegations is preposterous. His statement that the judge Squire's judgement on Shaik was flawed is ridiculous because Shaik appealed and the sentence was upheld by other judges. Heath is a stupid old man who is one big creep. He is demented.

  • Hermann - 2011-12-06 19:42

    Just wondering if someone has a cabinet post in mind. The pay is good.

      Atholl - 2011-12-06 21:57

      Margie, the one who was run over was 'lady' Traverso. It seemed that they were 'holding up play' on the golf course - that's another way of saying that they spent a lot of time 'in the bushes' - 'looking for balls' .... as Confucius say ... ' Golf all wrong ... lady who walk with man in four ball cannot walk '

  • champ.bopape - 2011-12-06 20:12

    The honorable judge must step down.

  • colin.dovey - 2011-12-06 22:24

    Scanning the comments going down the page is now reading like a good murder mystery........fuel for a book.....Mandy Wiener of Radio 702.....where are you......this story has all the elements for your trailer! We have not seen the end of this saga. Nkuku the Golden Rooster will still come home to roost and the the coop will be blown.....

  • colin.dovey - 2011-12-06 22:44

    Here is some fascinating info I have unearthed about Willem Heath FIVE YEARS AGO! (14th August 2006): “Further, at the time, Heath, clearly acting on information secured under dubious circumstances, took it upon himself to threaten DRDGold directors with legal proceedings, and to make damaging statements regarding their integrity,” Wellesley-Wood said. “It was clear to us then that these threats and damaging statements were a sham, and Heath's weekend admissions amount to his publicly corroborating this himself, and discrediting his conduct at the time.” The Sunday Tribune maintained that the transfer of as much as R9-million to, amongst others, “turned” former employees of Ain and DRD, was veiled by Heath serving as a Kebble middleman. DRD hired Ain to investigate alleged fraud by the Kebbles at the time. WOW! And where does that fit into the puzzle right now?

      colin.dovey - 2011-12-06 22:47

      I should have added that the reasons for instituting of the Info Bill are now becoming more apparent......

  • Grant - 2011-12-07 02:04

    I don't know much about Heath. I've found some of the comments here disturbing. My own take on this is that shortly after Zuma announces that there will be a fresh investigation into the arms deals, his buddy gets to be in charge. Something suspect...

      Helmut - 2011-12-09 16:18

      They are all Zuma's squash partners. They have to squash anything that could be revealed and be damaging to JZ's reputation. Why did they not suash the story on his outstanding reates and taxes to the amount of R 120.000? Heath must have been too busy polishing the showerhead!

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