Publication: The Natal Witness Issued: Date: 2005-10-19 Reporter: RM Young Reporter: Reporter:

Arms Deal Claims



The Natal Witness

Date 2005-10-19


R.M. Young

Web Link


I was quoted in Susan Segar's excellent article "Why Zuma won't tell all" (Weekend Witness, October 15) as being "outspoken" on the Arms Deal. While I do not feel that what was I quoted as saying was particularly outspoken, what intrigues me was the response from Ronald Suresh Roberts.

Thus far I have not known Roberts as being someone particularly knowledgeable about the Arms Deal, but I suppose that as he is the author currently writing a biography on President Thabo Mbeki, I might be wrong.

Nevertheless he rebuts my claims as "mere defamation'', but neither does he provide any backing for such rebuttal, nor does he explain why my claims might be defamatory.

One might have expected more from Roberts who is apparently both a Harvard-trained lawyer and someone who is suing a major publishing house *1 for R750 000 for defamation in the Cape High Court.

I consider the situation to be remarkable *2 that someone, who should know better, should publicly write off my claims (which I believe I have good grounds for believing to be both true and in the public interest) as merely defamatory, but without offering any supporting facts or cogent argument.

In the meantime, I sincerely look forward to Roberts's biography of Mbeki and hope that nothing should impede its completion or publication.

R. M. Young
Cape Town

*1  For writing an article :

*2  Original = "unlikeable", but that got lost in the translation.