Mbeki seeks proof of Heath allegations

2011-12-08 15:05

Johannesburg - A lawyer for former president Thabo Mbeki's foundation has asked the presidency for evidence of allegations that newly appointed SIU head Willem Heath reportedly levelled against him.

"The letter has been sent to the presidency," Mbeki's spokesperson Mukhoni Ratshitanga said on Thursday.

"There is no consideration of legal action at this stage. What we are seeking is just clarity."

Allegations rejected

According to a statement from Mbeki's office he rejected the allegations that he had initiated two criminal cases against his successor President Jacob Zuma.

"They are devoid of all truth," Ratshitanga said.

He said Mbeki "categorically rejects" the Heath's allegations. Heath made the claims in an interview with City Press, published last Sunday. He resigned as Special Investigating Unit head when Mbeki was president.

This came after a court ruling that he could not head the proposed SIU probe into possible arms deal corruption, because, at that time, he was a judge.

Zuma appointed Heath as head of the SIU again last week.

Ratshitanga said Heath made defamatory and malicious allegations against Mbeki in the interview with City Press. These included that Mbeki abused his position to compromise the criminal justice system by blocking some investigations into corrupt practices, and initiated the corruption and rape charges against Zuma by the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

The corruption charges against Zuma and arms company Thint were dropped, and Zuma was acquitted on the rape charge.

'Very grave' allegations

Ratshitanga said: "The allegations made by Heath are very grave, more so because they are made by the head of a critical organ of our criminal justice system and suggest illegal conduct on the part of a former head of state and government."

The Supreme Court of Appeal found no basis in the allegation of political interference on the part of Mbeki and the then Cabinet in Zuma's corruption case, Ratshitanga said.

"Among other things, the SCA said that 'the allegations (of political interference) were irrelevant, gratuitous and based on suspicion and not on fact'."

Ratshitanga said Mbeki previously warned about the "use of fabrications to advance particular political agendas and to divert attention from the pressing challenges of the day".

"If our broad leadership at all levels of society do not address this tendency, it may become an indelible part of our political culture and make it impossible for our country to address the real challenges we face."

It was with great reluctance that Mbeki was being forced to comment on domestic politics and the Heath allegations, he said.

Mbeki was ousted as president in 2008 at the culmination of a long-running split in support in the ANC for himself, and Zuma. Mbeki had fired Zuma as deputy president after Zuma's financial adviser Schabir Shaik was convicted of corruption.

Sectors of the ANC and the ANC Youth League publicly turned on Mbeki after this.

Comment from Heath or the presidency was not immediately available.

  • Herman - 2011-12-08 15:20

    I now understand clearly why heath was appointed by Zuma. this was his ace up his sleeve for a position. I disrespect anything that he stand for. leave my president alone. you are a learned fool.

      Werner - 2011-12-08 15:29

      Is it not amazing? Zille toy toys and wants to behave like a black cultured person to gain votes, whilst she cannot even look after her so-called own. Heath is like all other white "gabas", in that he sites himself with the oposition for personal gain just like Van Schalkwyk. I met the guy one and now spit on him for pulling such a cheap stunt. I have names for you Judge Heath!!!!!

      Ryan - 2011-12-08 23:03

      Werner, why did you bring Zille into this ??? I dont see how its related. as for the rest, you might be right

      George - 2011-12-09 05:27

      Here is the proof of your meddling Mbeki.1. Did you not try to stop the prosecution of selebi. 2. Did you not suspend Vusi pikoli over selebi crimes. 3. Did you not hear the nquka tapes where your top people were plotting to chrage zuma to derail Polokwane chances. 4. Why did the alleged raped woman first reported the rape to you and mastoid as opposed to the police. 5. Where did the alleged raped woman get the private cell phone number of yourself and the minister of intelligence when normal crime victims can't even be helped in a normal police station. Mbeki you have a history of interfering as you did with selebi who is behind bars today. Actaully meek must be charged with defeating the ends of justice.

  • Itumeleng Phasha - 2011-12-08 15:36

    Is this the beginning of Mbeki vs Zuma round #2?

      Irene - 2011-12-08 16:58

      Whatever it is, the can is opened and the worms are starting to crawl out. Pass the popcorn....

  • Utopian - 2011-12-08 15:37

    How can anyone believe anything Mbeki says. Remember this is the same clown that said he has proof that HIV and AIDS aren't related.

      kgosi.otimile - 2011-12-08 15:47

      It's seems like everyone misunderstood Mbeki about HIV and AIDS. Go back and check the previous debate in parliament. You didn't understand Mbeki Sir Utopian...

      Peter - 2011-12-08 16:02

      If I were to believe anyone it wouldn't be Zuma or his cronies.

      Ari - 2011-12-08 16:50

      Maybe you should do your own homework, Utopian. The story on Aids is media driven with great impetus and financial backing from Big Pharma. Oh, and the NGO's involved also need a cause to justify spending taxpayers' money. Spend some time and download the video at - then tell everyone Mbeki was wrong.

      Itse - 2011-12-08 17:49


      Marc - 2011-12-08 19:23

      @kgosi.otimile and Ari: are you also confused about the garlick, beetroot and African potato bit?

      Howard - 2011-12-08 21:59

      utopian you are a non thinker, non reader and truly the clown in this arena

      Honest - 2011-12-09 10:23

      Mbeki`s enemies used his views on Aids against him , read the whole argument before you comment and make unfounded allegations.They were unseparable friends then and today they are sturbing each other as I thouhgt it would happen sooner or later .

      kgosi.otimile - 2011-12-12 17:01

      @Marc and company: Mbeki is an intellect and let me give you little bit of light. Mbeki is the only president who stood and debate with medical people in parliament... But he said HIV doesn't caurse AIDS but poverty it does, he made an example with people in Europe who eat healthy and live longer or more than 20 years! here in SA poverty is too high and people can't afford antibiotics or healthy food.

  • sean.redmond3 - 2011-12-08 15:37

    Let the games begin.

  • Adam - 2011-12-08 15:41

    So is the newly appointed (by zuma) SIU head a liar or not,and can we expect the truth from him,or are we going to be fed another load of garbage?

  • Geoff - 2011-12-08 15:53

    Heath you are all that is bad about the old South Africa. From a judge with an ability to be impartial to a cadre of a party that will pay you for your "expertise". I can only ask what kind of judge where you!!!! if you cannot see that JZ is using you (and I assume paying you) then what hope for our current and future judges to remain above independent of the government. Corrupt to your core? South Africa can only hope that Mbeki sues you for defamation.

      david.lebethe - 2011-12-08 16:45

      @Geoff. You have an unlikely supporter in me, Geoff. Well said and at the time when I had concluded that "there are two faces of new South Africa - one rich (white) and one poor (black)".

      Blade - 2011-12-08 17:22

      @david what are you actually trying to convey?

  • George - 2011-12-08 16:41

    Just keep getting better and better. Cant wait for tomorrow

  • errol.wagner - 2011-12-08 16:42

    How could a man of Heath's standing make such foolish allegations? I hope that Mr Mkeki takes legal action.

  • Larry - 2011-12-08 16:50

    I would not believe a word from any of them and that includes Heath. They have proven time and again that it is all about their insatiable greed.

  • Cheryl - 2011-12-08 16:53

    Heath was not an appointment ' for the benefit of our country. Zuma doesnt appoint officials for their skill, rather for his own for buddies. nepotism at its best......

      Blade - 2011-12-08 17:00

      Nothing that the ANC does is for the good of the country.

      Philisiwe Msomi - 2011-12-09 09:36

      keep fooling urselves, dey all do that. Dey appoint ppl dey can trust rather than someone who cn do da job!!ds politics when administratn changes people get worried, some get excited...

  • leko.dada1 - 2011-12-08 18:36

    Mbeki vs Zuma round#2 Media is getting excited...fortunately Mbeki is a statesman wont be engaged in pety stuff unlike tribalist Zuma

  • Honest - 2011-12-08 19:35

    For as long as our president JZ has not had his day in court to prove his innocense on the corruption charges , the cloud will for ever hang above his head , Period ! I say one is innocent until proven guilty but you can never find out if you are guilty or innocent until the day you take a stand there and defend yourself . We must never forget that this has yet to happen even if it is after Mangaung in 2012 as it will never happen while JZ is the sitting president . Thank you very much . Leave Thabo Mbeki alone now he is sitting at home minding his own business .

  • 3pherb - 2011-12-08 19:35

    If he is not impartial now, he never was!! just boosting his retirement fund...

  • Motlhageng - 2011-12-08 19:56

    stop playing and be constractive. this is just nonsense of people who do not enjoy peace and unity - Charcks

  • sefeddt - 2011-12-09 09:46

    I doubt if Heath would have made the claim without Zuma also believing that Mbeki was behind the rape and corruption accusations as they must have discussed it in detail . Now that Mbeki has called their bluff, if Zuma is forced to speak out against Heath it will mean Zuma is taking action against someone who he himself believes is right.

  • Tiyisela - 2011-12-12 06:54

    i reckon Heath should proof on the allegations he made.

  • Sipho - 2011-12-12 20:45

    NPA should take necessary steps to protect those are being attecked. We should start showing respect to other people. This defamatory and malicious allegations made by a well respected person should be interpreted as a means of deviding people of south Africa. all cases against President Gehleyihlekisa Zuma were dropped and the former president Thabo Mbeki exited smoothly then what and why is this issue raised know.

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