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Minister of Justice quitting to curb spy-saga fallout
Reports on Ethnic Relations  /  Rapports sur les relations éthniques

The following section is consisted of part, full or summaries of articles from diverses sources (newspapers, newsletters, etc...).
La section suivante est constituée d'exraits, de la totalité ou de résumés d'articles provenant d'origines diverses (journaux,bulletins, etc..).

10 / 13 / 2003 

BUSINESS DAY, South Africa

"Minister of Justice quitting to curb spy-saga fallout" (Rob Rose & Xolani Xundu)

Justice Minister Penuell Maduna, confirming his shock decision to step down at next year’s elections, said his decision was based in part on his desire to limit the damage caused to the African National Congress (ANC) by the fallout that began with corruption allegations levelled at Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

Maduna, who asked last week that the terms of reference on the commission into spying allegations headed by Judge Joos Hefer be broadened to include him, suggesting that his pending resignation made him the first high-profile casualty arising from the Zuma affair.
Maduna said he would not be available for re-election as an ANC MP. However, Maduna has no intention of leaving the party.

The terms of the Hefer commission of inquiry, which starts on Wednesday, have been amended to include charges that Maduna abused his position and may be guilty of corruption.

This follows Maduna asking President Thabo Mbeki to broaden the commission’s terms of reference after he was the subject of two separate allegations of corruption, by mining magnate Brett Kebble and justice deputy director-general Mike Tshishonga.

The Hefer commission was originally set up to investigate whether national public prosecutions director Bulelani Ngcuka spied for the apartheid government and whether that may have compromised his position a charge that emerged during his investigation into corruption allegations against Zuma.

Former transport minister Mac Maharaj and Mo Shaik are expected to make submissions at the inquiry, which was allegedly delayed to accommodate the two men.

Yesterday, Maduna said the charges were linked and part of an orchestrated smear campaign. “We are fighting an adversary we don’t know; this is the problem,” he said. However, he was hopeful the Hefer inquiry would be effective.

It is not yet clear whether Tshishonga and Kebble will give evidence, although Tshishonga’s lawyers made contact on Friday to obtain the new, terms of reference for the inquiry.
Meanwhile, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has come out in support of Maduna after he was accused by Tshishonga of intervening inappropriately in the winding up of Retail Apparel Group (RAG) to direct that his friend, Enver Motala, be appointed a liquidator.

SARS commissioner Pravin Gordhan said Maduna stepped in after being asked to do so by SARS in terms of section 371 of the Companies Act.

Gordhan said the other creditors, notably banks led by FirstRand and the other four liquidators, disputed SARS’ claim against RAG and were “improperly blocking us”.

“We viewed this as unfair our approach was correct, we did believe section 371 of the Companies Act allowed Maduna to intervene,” Gordhan said. The courts eventually decided to the contrary.

Meanwhile, the ANC said at the weekend there was no evidence that sensitive information had been stolen when thieves gained access to its head office last week, stealing a computer hard drive.

Other data on South Africa / Autres données sur l'Afrique du Sud