Publication: The Citizen Issued: Date: 2004-08-20 Reporter: Ilse de Lange

Baqwa Sued

 

Publication 

Cape Times

Date 2004-08-20

Reporter

Ilse de Lange

Web Link

www.citizen.co.za

 

Public Protector Selby Baqwa is being sued for R500 000 in damages, resulting from "defamatory" remarks allegedly made to a newspaper by one of his spokesmen during a 2001 inquiry into South Africa's controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

A civil trial in which CI director Richard Young is suing Baqwa for damages began in the Pretoria High Court today.

Dr Young, whose company lost out on a contract to supply the management and information system parts of the combat suites for the SA Navy's four new corvettes, claimed Baqwa had deliberately and unlawfully portrayed him as a "coward", dishonest and only interested in personal gain, in remarks made to the Cape newspaper Die Burger.

Baqwa was one of three members of the joint investigating team into the so-called strategic defence packages.

Young alleged there were irregularities and political interference in the selection process. The newspaper report stated that Baqwa had, through a spokesman, described Dr Young's excusing himself from further participation in the public hearings "the moment that there was strong argument against him" as "cowardly".

Dr Young testified he had not been given advance warning of rebuttal witnesses called during the hearings, and had been supplied with only an extremely brief headline-type summary of one of the witnesses' evidence shortly before it was presented, while he has supplied a summary of more than 70 pages of his own evidence in advance.

With acknowledgements to Ilse de Lange and The Citizen.