Publication: The Star Issued: Date: 2001-03-12 Reporter: Editor:

De Lille Dismisses "Agent" Story as a Plant

Publication  The Star
Date 2001-03-12
Raporter Charles Phahlane
Web Link

State security agencies are investigating a man who posed as President Thabo Mbeki's secret agent and fed him "malicious" information, but Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille says the government "planted" the story. 

Presidential spokesperson Bheki Khumalo on Monday confirmed that details in a Sunday newspaper were correct about a man who used the name of Bheki Jacobs, and who allegedly was connected with several documents, including those alleging corruption in the R43-billion arms acquisition deal. 

Some of the documents were handed to De Lille and Judge Willem Heath, the former corruption-buster. 

Khumalo said Jacobs traded in "malicious" information and that he was never an agent for Mbeki. But he confirmed that some of his reports were sent to the president's office. 

I will protect my sources with my life' 

"Bheki Jacobs is not, and has never been, an agent of the president. The president has never requested any individual outside state structures to do any formal work for him," said Khumalo. 

De Lille said her sources had told her that the government had planted the story. She was sceptical of that article. 

She said she did not see the relevance of revealing her sources, which she would protect with her life. 

Revelations about Jacobs would not take away the standing committee on public accounts report and the auditor-general's report on the arms deal, she added. 

De Lille said she had heard of Jacobs, but had never had any dealings with him. 

He uses several names, but claims that his real name is Uranian Solomons. 

Intelligence ministry spokesperson Helmut Schlenter said on Monday he could not comment on the story. 

Jacobs, who apparently uses several names but claims his real name is Uranian Solomons and says he is a consultant of the Africa Institute for Southern Africa, has styled himself as a secret agent reporting directly to Mbeki. 

Jacobs runs Congress Consultants, whose profile says it delivers services which include investigations, political, security and threat analyses, and demobilisation of former combatants. - Own Correspondent 

With acknowledgement to Charles Phahlane and Independent Online.