Publication: City Press Issued: Date: 2003-09-28 Reporter: Elias Maluleke

Ngcuka Faces Fresh Attack Over Remarks



City Press

Date 2003-09-28


Elias Maluleke

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National director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka is under fresh attack over alleged "racist and prejudicial" statements he reportedly made to a select group of editors.

Ngcuka's problems have been worsened by this week's publication of a document in a daily newspaper which has revealed details of his "off-the-record" meeting with some of the country's editors in July.

The ANC is understood to have warned Ngcuka that he "has crossed the line" following his utterances at the meeting.

Ngcuka, who is the head of the Scorpions, is also being attacked by the ANC Youth League leadership and the Indian community.

The document, which has been widely circulated among media houses and political parties, appears to be an account by someone who was at that meeting.

The youth league this week called for Ngcuka's resignation and a full judicial commission of inquiry to be instituted with a fresh mandate to probe all leaks from the Scorpions.

The Indian community is up in arms over claims alleging that Ngcuka has suggested Deputy President Jacob Zuma was in trouble because he had surrounded himself with Indians.

Three powerful national organisations representing Indian academics, cultural and religious groups said they were making representations to the Human Rights Commission over the alleged racist remarks by Ngcuka.

The document was faxed to City Press from a shop in Pretoria on September 18.

In the document, Ngcuka is said to have made derogatory remarks (including inferences of corruption) about people and organisations such as: the ANC, ANCYL, Zuma, former transport minister Mac Maharaj and his wife, businessmen Schabir Shaik, Vivian Reddy and the Kebble brothers.

He is also said to have accused National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi of spreading false rumours about him (Ngcuka) and that former president Nelson Mandela supported the prosecution of Shaik.

According to the document, Ngcuka also claimed that his own boss, Justice Minister Penuell Maduna, had a secret meeting with soccer boss Irvin Khoza, in which Khoza begged not to be sent to jail.

ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe, who spoke to City Press on Thursday , promised to give a full response but could not be reached for comment yesterday. He earlier said the ANC regarded the meeting and utterances attributed to Ngcuka as completely "out of order".

Those listed in the minutes as participants were City Press editor Vusi Mona, Jimmy Seepe (City Press), Mathatha Tsedu (Sunday Times), Jovial Rantao (The Star), Mondli Makhanya (Mail and Guardian), Phalane Motale (Sunday Sun) and John Dludlu (Sowetan).

The Scorpions have also confirmed being in possession of the document, but declined to comment as the briefing was "off the record".

NDPP spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema, said the meeting was "off-the-record" and an undertaking was made with the editors that this was a strictly confidential meeting.

He said some of the contents of the document were "distorted".

He could not explain, however, what was distorted or why, nor if the briefing was meant for the editors' ears only.

However, most of the issues revealed by Ngcuka at the briefing were later used by the media before the minutes were made public.

With acknowledgements to Elias Maluleke and the City Press.