Zuma accepts Willem Heath's resignation

2011-12-15 17:50

Johannesburg - Willem Heath has resigned as head of the Special Investigating Unit, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

"He tendered his resignation as the head of the SIU in writing on Wednesday and I have brought [it] to the attention of the President [Jacob Zuma]," said Radebe.

"The President has accepted his resignation and it has become effective."

Last week, Zuma asked Radebe to help his office in an investigation into Heath's accusations against former president Thabo Mbeki.

Heath told the City Press newspaper earlier this month that Mbeki had allegedly initiated rape and corruption charges against Zuma. He claimed Mbeki abused his position to compromise the criminal justice system by blocking some investigations into corrupt practices.

"I invited Advocate Heath to a follow-up meeting in my office in Pretoria in order to have the matters further clarified following his submission of information he had undertaken to make available," Radebe said on Thursday.


Heath, whose appointment as SIU head was announced on November 29, expressed gratitude to Zuma and Radebe for showing confidence in him by giving him the appointment, said Radebe.

"The manner in which events unfolded following his appointment, created a perception, rightly or wrongly, that he would not be in a position to execute his duties in an independent manner as expected or required of an incumbent holding that position."

Zuma was taking steps to fill the vacancy. In the interim he appointed Nomgcobo Jiba as acting SIU head.

Jiba is currently a deputy national director of public prosecutions at the national prosecuting authority.

"She has served as a senior prosecutor and has extensive knowledge of criminal law and experience in prosecuting corruption cases," Radebe said.

"We would like to give assurance to all South Africans that our government remains committed towards fighting corruption."

Heath replaced Willie Hofmeyr as SIU head. 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. As a result he had to resign, a decision that, according to Heath, left him a "pauper".

  • Teri - 2011-12-15 17:56

    Spell check please....... It's "accepts" and not "acceps"

      Squeegee - 2011-12-15 18:10

      Is this the slippery slide downward for prosecutions in SA?

      Atholl - 2011-12-15 18:12

      Acceps is right - it's those things on yr arms between yr elbow and yr shoulder... Acceps is also the tool used to deliver a baby from a womb. It's right because the SIU head has been forcepsed with biceps from his position

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-15 18:20

      @Atholl. I can't stop laughing!

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-15 18:58

      They don't go without a fight, someone must have some sticky info that needs to be buried.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-15 19:25

      In 2008 Jiba was suspended along with Laurence Mrwebi -- head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit -- after accusations that she was part of a conspiracy to have former Gauteng Scorpions head Gerrie Nel arrested before he could lay corruption charges against former police commissioner Jackie Selebi. M&G

  • Ibhubesi - 2011-12-15 17:57

    What is going on here with these short news flashes! Give us the story, we are eating our mouses up of excitement!

      Graham - 2011-12-15 18:10

      Times live ZA and Mail and Guardian online provide more nuanced, detailed news reports.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-15 18:15

      @Graham. Thanks. I just love how these old men are falling one by one. They are so steeped in their outdated old tribal fights and daggers into each others backs. It is great that these Mafia members are being thrown out one by one. NEXT IS MAHARAJ.

  • Burtfred - 2011-12-15 18:01

    Zuma's appointment of Heath 2 weeks ago is once again is an example of him not "applying his mind" Surely a national president that makes so many cock-ups should be booted out by the voting public.

      Wes - 2011-12-15 20:12

      Heath replaced Willie Hofmeyr as SIU head. Willie demoted Heath resigns. Zuma replaces Heath with Nomgcobo Jiba as acting SIU. Willie sidelined and out of the way. Heath for helping out gets substantial under the table payment. Every body happy except Willie and the truth.....SA politics

  • Brian - 2011-12-15 18:05

    SPELLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on, use your spell checker it is not difficult!!!! ACCEPTS not acceps.

  • Atholl - 2011-12-15 18:06

    The wait and the weight of public (popular) opinion ... ... can bring many (boys who think they're big) down.

  • Arthur - 2011-12-15 18:09

    Nice that a politician accepts something that isn't a bribe!

  • eddiebant - 2011-12-15 18:10

    Advocate? Not very bright to meeee.Stepping very easily into a trap.

  • Trevor - 2011-12-15 18:13

    OMG...Zuma just keeps on re-inforcing the belief that he's no good at this job...not even funny anymore

  • Nkululeko Coobra Gwadiso - 2011-12-15 18:22

    thnx Heath 4 doing a honourable thing we dnt need pple lyk u in public offices....

  • Julie - 2011-12-15 18:24

    I thought a forceps is used in a difficult birth delivery and not a acceps as Atholl mentions? Thanks for leaving Mister Heath!

      Atholl - 2011-12-15 18:41

      Julie, my apology ... forceps is the (Queen) english version I was referring to the French version :: feurceipts or four'cepts that's when there are four babies that have to be delivered. ... in the 16th century ... by Dr Jaco'b La Presid-la'gullitine du'Head de'Heath

  • Ampers - 2011-12-15 18:26

    My Engels is nie so goed nie! Wat die woord "acceps" is asseblief?

  • Joseph - 2011-12-15 18:28

    I was waiting to see a court challenge from the DA on his appointmant like what they did before but have forgoten that Heath is not black as a result the DA will not challenge his appointmant.

      Wall - 2011-12-15 19:13 They did challenge it. 4 days ago. Considering the issue only arose a short while ago, I really don't see how they could have done any more than appeal to Pres Zuma.

      Koekies - 2011-12-16 12:14

      You are no better than the far right racists. You are blind with hatred...

  • George - 2011-12-15 18:30

    Mr zoomer, when you are not presedent any more, you should go into business for youself. You would be in the labour court every day because of your inability to hire the right staff to do the right job, YOU ARE JUST TAKING A CHANCE in you hiring at the moment and hope one day you might make the right decision. Have you checked your IQ lately

  • mhlengwem - 2011-12-15 18:44

    A good move on his part. However, this does not retract what he alleged. SA needs eveidence in order to close this sad chapter. Come on old boy...give the country and the courts evidence

  • Dries - 2011-12-15 18:57


  • mike.clery - 2011-12-15 19:04

    That's a relief. The prospect of having a head of SIU with Heath's views and self-control was frightening.

  • Shirley - 2011-12-15 19:13

    Realy News24 what is ACCEPS?????????? As for Zuma accepting,dont think he had much choice!

  • fritz.louw - 2011-12-15 19:15

    I can attest how the then Heath Commission / Investigation Unit would not attend to my allegations of the crimes Armscor and African Defence Systems (ADS) committed during the period 1992 to 1999. Armscor/ADS are indeed disgraceful and fundamentally corrupt organizations and both a shame for South Africa – in the past, now and it looks like in the foreseeable future as well. See for yourself by Googling “fritz louw”.

  • Wendy - 2011-12-15 19:25

    Being left "a pauper" obviously did not teach him to tread carefully.

  • The Real Unskinny - 2011-12-15 19:28


  • raymond.kok3 - 2011-12-15 19:31

    good ridens of bad ............. you showed your hand to early mr sour face you will never be able to play poker with profesionals they will take your its back to work mr heath eisch carma sucks

  • Phill - 2011-12-15 19:36

    Poor Willem Heath. It was enevitable. Was it naivette or age that Heath believed Zuma was a man of his word? As they say, a leopard never changes his spots, so does Zuma. The man never had a position of his own. He is a rolling stone. Well, comrade Heath, it serves you right!

  • Ofhani Rapetswane - 2011-12-15 19:51

    The president is looking for part-time Malemas'.

  • Max - 2011-12-15 20:08

    Can anyone name one positive contibution Mr.Zuma has made towards a better South Africa. Come to think of it, all his decisions blow up in his face. He must be the most incompetent president in known history.

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-15 20:22

    Whether he was pushed or not, at least give him credit for leaving. How many of Zuma's cronies and, generally, ANC people have opted to go even after they have been convicted e.g. the Winnie Mandelas and Yengenis, the latter who did time but is still treated like a star of the party even though his corruption hurt the country? It is because of deep rooted corruption especially at the top that this happens because no one can point a finger without three pointing back at him/her. At least this one has manned up and tendered his resignation. Others, especially Black ANC members in the leadership,feel the country owes them and will disregard legal rules and generally accepted norms because in their minds that is the pay-off for the "sacrifices" they feel only they made for majority rule.

  • Marius Koen - 2011-12-15 20:44

    Last time he said he lived like a pauper. After this 3 weeks in office the handshake must be nice.

  • Mboneni - 2011-12-15 22:10

    Jacob Zuma is presiding over a disintegrating anc and a disfunctional govt.Under his luckluster leadership the prospect of ever creating jobs is grim health sustem and education is crumbling

  • pages:
  • 1