Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2001-01-15 Reporter: Editor: Sapa

PAC : Reject Maduna's Advice 

Publication  News24
Date 2001-01-15
Editor Sapa
Web Link

Cape Town - Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille on Monday called on President Thabo Mbeki to reject Justice Minister Penuell Maduna's recommendation that Judge Willem Heath's special investigating unit be excluded from the probe into the controversial R43 billion arms deal.

The government would be "shooting itself in the foot" if it accepted the recommendation, she said.

De Lille six months ago first accused the African National Congress of trying to exclude Heath from the probe, and recently threatened to take legal action against Mbeki if the judge was excluded.

De Lille said on Monday the investigation would not stand or fall by the inclusion or exclusion of Heath's unit, but it would stand or fall by principles being violated by government, ie transparency and accountability.

"At issue is the constitutional accountability of the executive to parliament," De Lille said.

The PAC would await a statement by Mbeki on whether he would issue the necessary promulgation to Judge Heath for his unit's inclusion in the parliamentary investigation before the party proceeded with legal action in court.

"It is unfortunate that the ANC has personalised the matter of Judge Heath's inclusion rather than looking at the legal competencies of the unit. To exclude him now will signal to the international community that democracy is under attack, and that corruption is rampant in South Africa," De Lille said.

With acknowledgement to Sapa and