Publication: The Star Issued: Date: 2003-09-18 Reporter: Christelle Terreblanche

Ngcuka Tells His Staff that Spy Claim is Untrue



The Star

Date 2003-09-18


Christelle Terreblanche

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I was never an apartheid spy, Bulelani Ngcuka, National Director of Public Prosecutions, has insisted to his staff.

The allegation has been printed in a Sunday newspaper and later repeated by former transport minister Mac Maharaj.

This week, the allegations were again voiced by Mo Shaik, a special adviser to the foreign minister and brother of businessman Schabir Shaik, who is being prosecuted in connection with alleged arms deal corruption and fraud.

President Thabo Mbeki, who has so far been mum on the spy claims against Ngcuka and allegations against Deputy President Jacob Zuma relating to the arms deal, was expected to break his silence today, when he was due to answer questions in parliament.

Opposition leader Tony Leon wanted Mbeki to state whether, "in the light of the impact of corruption allegations" against Zuma, Zuma had been asked to step down until the allegations were refuted.

Journalists hoping to get a whiff of Mbeki's views over the matter were disappointed when the regular briefing after the cabinet's fortnightly meeting was cancelled yesterday.

While Mbeki has been silent on the matter, the cabinet has appointed a committee to probe the allegations against Ngcuka.

Confirming that Ngcuka had met his staff yesterday to reassure them and boost their morale, his spokesperson Sipho Ngwema nevertheless played down the meeting.

Ngwema said this was part of a range of meetings designed for better internal communication, and the second of its kind.

Ngcuka has denied allegations that he was an apartheid spy in the 1980s.

With acknowledgements to Christelle Terreblanche and The Star.