Publication: Sunday Times Issued: Date: 2002-03-17 Reporter: Jessica Bezuidenhout Editor:

Heath Quizzed on Arms Deal Leaks to Media


Publication  Sunday Times
Date 2002-03-17
Reporter Jessica Bezuidenhout
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Former judge Willem Heath has been questioned by a team from Auditor-General Shauket Fakie's office as the hunt for leaks among arms deal investigators is intensified.

Fakie's team met Heath in Cape Town on Friday, just one week after it emerged that 25 arms deal investigators were asked to submit themselves to lie_detector tests to prove they had not leaked sensitive information.

 They will have their home and work telephone records scrutinised by an internal team probing how information not contained in the final arms report handed to Parliament was subsequently leaked.

Fakie confirmed his team had met Heath to try to get to the bottom of further leaks. "The interviews were not conducted under the provisions of any law. It was merely a request for cooperation and assistance," he said.

Heath previously headed the government's Special Investigations Unit, set up to combat corruption in the civil service. The unit was expelled from government's multi-agency probe into claims of corruption in the R43-billion arms deal when it failed to get a proclamation from President Thabo Mbeki.                         

Fakie's team also questioned Richard Young of CI, a Cape Town-based company which lost out on a subcontract in the arms deal. They wanted to know whether he had sources in the AG's office, whether he gained information from or gave it to the Heath unit and whether he was the source of an article published in a weekly newspaper in January.

With acknowledgements to Jessica Bezuidenhout and the Sunday Times.