Committee to Probe Claims Ngcuka was Apartheid Spy
Jeremy Michaels, Andre Koopman
A ministerial committee is to probe allegations that National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka was an apartheid-regime spy, Justice Minister Penuell Maduna said yesterday.
The committee, comprising ministers dealing with the criminal justice system, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and any other minister designated by the president, would examine claims that Ngcuka had a spy identity number and the alleged file on his activities, he said.
The committee would report to President Thabo Mbeki.
Maduna also said he was delighted that the French prosecuting authorities had agreed to help in investigating allegations of corruption against Deputy President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma would be obliged to stand down if charges were eventually brought against him, Maduna said.
The French authorities have appointed a senior magistrate to examine Ngcuka's plea for assistance.
Ngcuka wants Alain Thetard and Jean-Paul Perrier of the French arms manufacturer Thales - which allegedly paid bribes to Zuma via a company belonging to his financial adviser Schabir Shaik - to testify as state witnesses against the deputy president.
Ngcuka said last month there was a prima facie case of corruption against Zuma, but that he would not be charged because without the assistance of the French witnesses the case was "not winnable".
As for demands from the opposition that Zuma should resign, Maduna said the deputy president had not been charged and calls for him to step down were therefore without basis.
If Zuma were to be charged - as was the case with former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni - the call for him to step down would be "right".
"No-one will be spared the application of that principle."
With acknowledgements to Jeremy Michaels, Andre Koopman and the Cape Times.