PAC Challenges Heath Exclusion
Johannesburg - The Pan
Africanist Congress' application for a judicial review of President Thabo
Mbeki's decision to exclude Judge Willem Heath from the multi-agency probe into
the arms deal could be launched next month.
PAC MP and chief whip Patricia de Lille said on
Wednesday the papers were currently with senior counsel and she hoped the matter
would come before the Cape High Court by the end of June.
She was addressing a meeting with the media and
the SA National Editors Forum.
In what De Lille has dubbed a
"constitutional crisis" she said the case would also seek to clarify
whether there was a dispute between the National Assembly and the Executive on
"There is open fighting between the
executive and parliament daily because of this issue," De Lille said.
"There is a ganging up of the executive and
Parliament on party political lines to undermine the institutions we have put in
place," De Lille said.
Parliament's watchdog public accounts committee
in November last year recommended a multi-agency probe into the deal, which was
approved by Parliament.
However, the ANC and opposition parties in the
committee have since disagreed about whether the resolution specifically
included Judge Heath's unit.
In a controversial decision, Mbeki later excluded
Heath from the probe, citing among other reasons a Constitutional Court decision
that a judge cannot head a special investigating unit.
De Lille repeated she would not participate in
the public hearings into the deal starting on May 28 as she had already handed
all information to the investigating agencies.
The list of witnesses at the hearings had not
been released and De Lille said she had not been asked to testify.
De Lille and party secretary general Thami ka
Plaatjie were subpoenaed by the NDPP earlier this year to hand over evidence and
had a second meeting on Tuesday to clarify aspects of the information handed
"I now expect the NDPP to make the
information available to the other two agencies who are part of the
investigation. I don't see why I must go through the same side-show with the
Public Protector... I don't believe it will add any value to the process or
She also sought clarification on the procedures
of the hearings, to be led by Public Protector Selby Baqwa, asking if it would
be "another Hansiegate" - in reference to last year's commission of
inquiry into cricket match-fixing.
She repeated her vow not to reveal her sources,
whom she has said were members of the African National Congress, on the
allegations but said she had agreed to approach them for more information if the
investigators asked her to.
She said Fritz Louw, a former employee of African
Defence Systems, a Mr Van Staden, Richard Young - an unsuccessful bidder in the
deal - and Democratic Alliance MPL Themba Sono had provided information but did
not mind being named.
"It's not just around myself, there are
other people taking up the issue."
Referring to recent telephonic death threats De
Lille said she was currently examining a log of calls made to her telephone
which could pinpoint who had called her.
The PAC's secretary for intelligence, safety and
intelligence, Mtutuzeli Mama, said a request for protection for De Lille had
been made to the Western Cape division of the National Protection Services, but
he had not yet received feedback after a threat analysis was conducted.
However, Senior Superintendent Selby Bokaba of
National Commissioner Jackie Selebi's office said the request had been made to
the incorrect office and that if it was submitted to the head office of the NPS
it would be considered.
Mama questioned this, asking if the request had gone to the wrong office, why had three members of the NPS been involved in the threat analysis.
acknowledgment to Sapa and News24.