Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2004-10-08 Reporter: Sipho Ngwema

What Leaks?



Business Day

Date 2004-10-08


Sipho Ngwema

Web Link


Had David Gleason written the Thick End of the Wedge (October 4), which was riddled with inaccuracies, I would not bother responding.

I know Peter Bruce means well. I think he is a man of integrity and is not financially indebted to the subjects of his column. His conscience is clear. If he were writing about people he had business ties with, he would declare this upfront.

Bruce did not have to read about the contents of the Schabir Shaik's indictment in the Sunday Times, Business Day staff had it since August last year and wrote about it.

The final charge sheet, list of witnesses and the final list of further particulars were served last week.

After the defence and the court were served, they became public documents.

They do not have to be leaked; they are public documents.

Bruce deals with the merits of the case, which is not allowed*. He does not know whether anybody took money, these are still allegations the court will have to pronounce on them.

Sipho Ngwema
Executive Manager: Communications
National Prosecuting Authority

With acknowledgements to Sipho Ngwema and Business Day.

This is not strictly speaking true. The legal definition of sub judice is "awaiting judicial determination" which is once the jury has begun deliberating its verdict. But South Africa does not use the jury system and it is legally untested whether the matter is sub judice when the trial judge or magistrate is considering their verdict.

In any case, when Peter Bruce wrote his article, the matter was not yet before the court.

R.M. Young
Unprofessor of Law