NEWS & ANALYSIS

Willie Hofmeyr's claims do not stand up to scrutiny - Thabo Mbeki

Former president says affidavit produces no evidence of political interference in work of NPA (April 9)

STATEMENT OF FORMER PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI ON ADV WILLIE HOFMEYR'S AFFIDAVIT

Last week, the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Advocate Willie Hofmeyr, submitted an affidavit concerning the court challenge brought by the Democratic Alliance to set aside the NPAs 2009 decision to drop corruption charges preferred against President Jacob Zuma.

In the affidavit, Adv Hofmeyr makes several allegations to the effect that during the time when I served as President of the Republic, certain people (presumably with my knowledge and consent) used or sought to use the NPA as a "tool to fight [my] factional political battles."

After careful study of the affidavit, I have come to the firm conclusion that it contains ABSOLUTELY no evidence to back the claim that either the alleged role players or I sought to interfere or interfered in the work of the NPA.

Those who have followed this matter will recall that essentially the same allegations were canvassed before Judge Chris Nicholson in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in 2008. Though Judge Nicholson was persuaded by the allegations, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) unanimously dismissed his judgment and said, amongst other things, that it was "incomprehensible."

I have therefore determined that there is nothing to add or to subtract from the SCA judgement.

Subsequent to the SCA judgement, my office issued a statement on January 13, 2009 in which I said in part: "It seems to me that the unacceptable practice of propagation of deliberate falsehoods to attain various objectives is becoming entrenched in our society." I also called on "All of us as leaders and citizens critically to reflect on this practice in order to avoid the entrenchment of a culture which may eventually corrupt our society."

My views and concerns regarding this practice and its consequences have not changed.

At another period in history, Mahatma Gandhi sought to address this and other concerns when he spoke of Seven Social Sins, these being:

"Wealth without work;
Pleasure without conscience;
Knowledge without character;
Commerce without morality;
Science without humanity;
Worship without sacrifice, and;
Politics without principle."

I hope and pray that one day, hopefully soon, our country will reflect on this and other issues with the obligatory depth and seriousness, bearing in mind that a society without a moral proposition is destined nowhere.

Statement issued by the Office of Thabo Mbeki, Johannesburg, April 9 2015

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