Zuma mum on Heath concerns

2011-12-09 14:43

Johannesburg - The presidency will not comment now on concerns over the appointment of Willem Heath as Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head, spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Friday.

"The president's position is that he was looking into the matter," he said.

Concerns were voiced over the appointment after Heath told the City Press that Thabo Mbeki, former president and political rival to Jacob Zuma, initiated rape and corruption charges against Zuma.

Maharaj said: "Matters arising from the interview raised certain concerns and he therefore decided to look into the matter and he will take everything into consideration."

Zuma would discuss the matter with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Maharaj said.

Earlier on Friday, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) welcomed reports that Zuma would look into the matter after finding Heath's comments "disturbing" for a person appointed to head the SIU.


"Heath's comments... adversely reflect on the integrity and credibility of a former head of state and cannot be condoned under any circumstances," Nadel said in a statement.

"The statements... amount to his expression of his personal opinion on matters that fall within the purview of his new office."

Nadel said independence and impartiality were as much a matter of perception as of reality.

"Making such statements in public, regardless of the subject matter or to whom they are directed, shows a lack of appreciation of the necessity that no perception of bias could ever be attributed to the head of the SIU."

At the very least, Heath should publicly withdraw the statements, Nadel said.

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

Since his appointment, the Congress of the People called Heath "too risky" and the Democratic Alliance said he was "too partisan".

The Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party, and the African National Congress were happy that he was back.

Heath had headed a previous SIU during Mbeki's tenure but resigned when it was declared that, as a practising judge, he could not do so.

  • Ibhubesi - 2011-12-09 14:55

    And this is our biggest problem? Zuma and Heath's credibility? Oh I forgot Maharaj is also in this picture...and Oh...haven't they been together for a long time?

      Spyker - 2011-12-09 15:09

      Absolutely - it is by far not our greatest problem. This is: ANC Pledges Continued Support To Zanu-PF The ANC and Zanu-PF are cooperating to ensure that Mugabe will win the 2012 elections in Zimbabwe. The long-term objective is to turn SA into a totalitarian state (like Zim) that will seize farms, exclude the white minority from the SAcan economy and eventually create a governmental-dynasty similar to what Libya was under Gaddafi. It is time to prepare for war. SA after 2012, will be the hell it was predicted to become, as far back as 1992.

      djmain1 - 2011-12-09 15:21

      Absolutely shocking!! These cANCer people have no scruples. Every one of them is dishonest and insincere - they cannot be trusted. Phansi cANCer, phansi!!!

      Thozi - 2011-12-09 15:22

      You can ask again...

      George - 2011-12-15 18:42

      The three stooges

  • bernpm - 2011-12-09 15:01

    "The president's position is that he was looking into the matter," Mac said. Not "applying his mind" this time? No wonder the trust in government and its officials is at an all time low.

  • mholthuysen - 2011-12-09 15:04

    It does not matter who is going to be appointed - as NOTHING will come out of it. This country has lost its soul and is busy being destroyed by non-governance and corruption. The struggle party is still struggling.... but within itself and not for the right reasons!

      Poloyatonki - 2011-12-09 15:29

      This country has never had a soul, if you think about where we come from.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-09 15:36

      @Poloyatonki. LOL LOL So nice to see you are still here! I am now addicted to your posts! There are so many matters that you are so right about. Like this soul issue for instance! Brilliant!

      Piet - 2011-12-09 15:54

      We had soul during apartheid.....Now everything is in ruins...

  • Grant - 2011-12-09 15:04

    And we all know how long it takes zooma to 'look into matters'....see you in two years time!!!

  • Themba - 2011-12-09 15:13

    Zuma is Zooming the matta,,give him a chance,,

  • Bob - 2011-12-09 15:33 blasphemy towards heads of state, past or present please...! Unless you want to say it here...then it is lekker fine!

  • Thozi - 2011-12-09 15:39

    This chap that people are talking about now... yes, Heath, I hear he was a judge. Did he babble like that whilst still on the High-court bench? How did he ever get that far up? Eer.. not now, the judge-thing I mean!

      Piet - 2011-12-09 15:55

      so much for separating the judicial system and politics ne!

  • david.lebethe - 2011-12-09 15:50

    DA should consider bringing about an application to look into his legibility as the head SIU. The man is bad relection of the bench and wonder whether he didn't join on the basis of affirmative action by racist white government of the time?

      George - 2011-12-09 19:00

      He got in because he is fu@ken usless and has a brain only the anc can understand. He will be fired by the anc soon as they find out his credentials are fake like him

  • Paulo - 2011-12-09 15:55

    let me guess his going to apply his mind to the matter. it's like almost everyone of his appointmetns are horribly bad and the guy is running our country-what a load of horse crap.

  • Geronimo - 2011-12-09 15:58

    No surprise here. Zuma is not known for responding to anything in a hurry.

      Thozi - 2011-12-09 16:15

      I've reliably been informed that one needs a sharp brain to do that?

  • Larry - 2011-12-09 16:07

    Zuma has a knack of hiring controversial figures and then failing to explain why, how, what, even after he has backed down and fired them. Heath ands Maharaj will suffer the same as those who went before them, A**s licking scapegoats.

  • Cheryl - 2011-12-09 16:15 of the main characteristics of a corrupt regime. Nandos might do an ad on you one day too.....

  • fritz.louw - 2011-12-09 17:31

    I can attest how the then Heath Commission 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”.

  • George - 2011-12-09 19:38

    Heath, once a respected man in SA and the world, has now sold his sole to the anc, something you kin will read in the history books forever.

  • samuel.maphaha1 - 2011-12-09 22:10

    Heath should have known better.

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