Spy tapes, corruption charges in spotlight during Hofmeyr's Public Protector interview

2016-08-12 01:11

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Cape Town – Spy tapes, President Jacob Zuma’s corruption charges and party affiliations and loyalties took centre stage during Willie Hofmeyr’s interview for the public protector post on Thursday night.

More than 15 hours after the committee started with the interviews, Hofmeyr was grilled on some of the decisions he had made during his long career.

This included an affidavit in which he called into question national head Shaun Abrahams’s version of the controversial decision to drop criminal charges against colleague Nomgcobo Jiba.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu questioned the decisions behind the corruption case against businessman Schabir Shaik, and asked him to explain why Zuma had not been charged at the same time.

Shivambu asked why a decision had been made to drop the spy tapes saga, which was now being reinstated in court.

“How should we trust you? How do we know you are not an extension of the person you have been avoiding to charge for a very long time? Aren’t you trying to come to the public protector’s office to continue with the protection of a possibly corrupt individual who steals public money for himself to enrich himself and his own family?” he asked.

He said Hofmeyr had a history of protecting one individual.

Hofmeyr said he would not be coming into the public protector office to protect anyone except the public.

He said his integrity mattered to him.

Three hours a day

Speaking about the withdrawal of charges against Zuma, he said initially he was probably the only person who felt strongly about the issue.

“In the end the decision was taken by consensus by top management of the NPA. So it was not me alone who took the decision,” he said.

ACDP MP Steve Swart asked him why he would want to leave the NPA, when he had been doing so well.

Hofmeyer said he was under utilised at the NPA and only worked about three hours a day.

He said he was a bit frustrated as he liked working 10 – 12 hours a day.

He was also questioned about flouting procurement rules, Nkandla and why he thought he was the right candidate for the job.

On his political affiliations, he said he had let his membership to the ANC lapse in 2001, but probably still believed in their policies and ideas. 

“I've devoted my life to politics and to the liberation movement, but my career pushed me to take a neutral political stance,” he said.

Read more on:    public protector

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