[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Mbalula v Mbeki; Mpshe plagiarism backfires?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Apr 15 08:58:50 BST 2009
OPEN LETTER TO THABO MBEKI
Dear Cde Mbeki
The events that came to pass in our country in the last week have left
me very little option, but to address you directly on the matters at hand.
I am certain that you are painfully aware that the release of the
transcripts of the conversations between Ngcuka and McCarthy, not only
sent shockwaves through the nation, but through our movement. The NPA
briefing finally bought closure to a painful episode of your reign both
as President of the Republic and of the ANC. An episode one hopes will
never come to pass ever again in the history of our movement.
It is a sad reality that the phenomenon we are dealing with today is a
result of your actions of conniving, manipulating people and advancing
politics of patronage. Despite the fact that you were a democratically
elected President, you chose to run both the organisation and the
country with a cabal which sought to commandeer everyone along your
thinking and vision, which at times ran contrary to what the ANC stood for.
Mandela led the ANC with distinction, and acknowledged at all times that
he will always be subject to its authority and directives, even after he
left the office of ANC President. His leadership at the helm of the ANC
continues to inspire our forward momentum and his wisdom will remain a
point of reference for generations to come.
Mandela’s wise words, an icon of our liberation struggle, an embodiment
of the ANC’s values, continue to reverberate to this day. At the time of
your acceptance of your election as President of the ANC at the Mafikeng
Conference in 1997, Madiba said, “...here are the reigns of the movement
– protect and guard its precious legacy; defend its unity and integrity
as committed disciples of change; pursue its popular objectives like
true revolutionaries who seek only to serve the nation… As an ordinary
member of the ANC I suppose that I will also have many privileges that I
have been deprived of over the years: to be as critical as I can be; to
challenge any signs of ‘autocracy from Shell House’; and to lobby for my
preferred candidates from the branch level upwards… I look forward to
that period when I will be able to wake up with the sun; to walk the
hills and valleys of Qunu in peace and tranquillity. And I am confident
that this will certainly be the case because, as I do so, and see the
smiles on the faces of children which reflect the sunshine in their
hearts, I will know, comrade Thabo and your team, that you are on the
right track; you are succeeding. ”
Having reflected on Mandela’s words, I am certain that you either did
not hear his wise words, or you deliberately elected not to take heed of
them. His challenge to you to defend the unity and integrity of the ANC
was central to his message and should have been a beacon in your
leadership of the ANC. The smiles on the faces of the children are yet
to reflect the sunshine in their hearts, because that moment is yet to come.
Mandela handed you a vibrant and united ANC, yet at the twilight of your
Presidency, you chose to betray everything that Mandela and those that
came before him stood for, struggled for, and laid down their lives for.
In a moment of intoxication with
power, you forgot Madiba’s wise counsel and allowed our glorious
movement to stumble on the edge of an abyss.
When your cabal was finally defeated in Polokwane because of its actions
and underhanded tactics at securing a third term for you as a President
of the ANC, they went into an elaborate conspiratorial mode, famously
dubbed “the fightback strategy,” which clearly carried your blessing. It
is one’s considered view that it was the failure of this strategy that
led you and your lieutenants to spawn the so-called Congress of the
People as a vehicle to fight the ANC and undermine its hegemony and legacy.
It is a sad day in our nation that one has to allude that your legacy,
at its pinnacle, has only brought us shame and disgrace, overshadowing
what would have otherwise been a commendable political career. It is not
my place to pass judgement, but am convinced that history will judge you
very harshly for what you have come to represent in the latter day.
I find it rather instructive that in your reaction to the release of the
Ngcuka/McCarthy transcripts you chose to pose the question as to how did
the tapes come to be in the possession of the ANC President’s lawyers.
The more fundamental issue which I would have expected would be your
primary preoccupation would be how did you fail the nation so badly such
that the chain of events over the last nine years landed us in the
position we find ourselves in today. How did the state apparatus become
so embroiled in partisan politics that sought to rip our movement apart
such that not even the highest office in the land had the political will
to put brakes on the rot that was settling in?
While the movement may take collective responsibility for the actions of
our government as a ruling party, however, my heart bleeds that the
relationship of trust the ANC conferred on you in Mafikeng was broken.
The mantra of your Presidency, “the rule of law” was betrayed in the
most vulgar way possible.
When spy allegations were levelled at Bulelani Ngcuka, then National
Director of Public Prosecutions, you were swift in your appointment of
the Heffer Commission to probe those allegations as an attempt to
When the infamous off-the-record briefings conducted by Bulelani Ngcuka
came to light, where Ngcuka is alleged to have made libellous remarks
about Jacob Zuma, who was the Deputy President of the Republic at the
time, you conveniently turned a blind eye and failed to act;
When Bulelani Ngcuka, flanked by then Minister of Justice, Pennuel
Maduna addressed a media briefing wherein he suggested that Cde Zuma had
a case to answer, but he will not prosecute him, you once again
conveniently failed to act on what was a blatant violation of Cde Zuma’s
You then proceeded to appoint Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as Deputy President
of the Republic as a reward to the loyalty of the Ngcukas;
When the Public Protector pronounced on the violation of Cde Zuma’s
rights, his findings were met with scorn, and again, no action was
forthcoming on your part;
When the National Intelligence Agency expressed alarm about the unlawful
activities of the Scorpions, once again you did nothing;
When the Browse Mole report came to light, which was produced by the
Scorpions, you were quick to dismiss it as work of counter-revolutionary
forces, and proceeded to ignore the recommendations of Parliament’s
Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. In an interesting twist or
irony, McCarthy, who was the head of the DSO at the time was rewarded
with a handsome golden handshake and a recommendation for a high ranking
job with the World Bank, at a time when he and those who were
responsible for the Browse Mole report should have been under investigation;
You did not hesitate to destroy a relationship that spanned decades
between yourself and Billy Masetlha when he raised concerns about the
allegedly hoax emails that were making rounds, and you defined your
relationship with him as irretrievable.
You continued to protect Jackie Selebi, the National Police Commissioner
and did not hesitate to suspend Vusi Pikoli, the National Director of
Public Prosecutions when he sought to arrest Selebi, for reasons known
only to yourself;
You dismissed Cde Zuma, then Deputy President of the Republic, on the
basis of inferences in the Shabir Shaik trial. Interestingly, you were
quick to cry foul when Justice Nicholson made far reaching findings in
his judgements and drew inferences on your perceived interference with
due processes of law;
You failed to take the nation into confidence and confirm that you were
the author of the now famous letter to the Standing Committee on Public
Accounts (SCOPA) on the arms deal, a letter which was a central piece of
evidence at the Shaik trial;
You conducted briefings to ANC structures, religious community,
opposition parties (particularly the DA) on how corrupt Cde Zuma was, in
an attempt to garner public support and sympathy, and whereby you
arrogated yourself the role of being a judge in Cde Zuma’s persecution;
You were highly implicated as a central player in the compilation of a
dossier which sought to defame Cde Zuma in the run-up to Polokwane,
which was distributed among ANC delegates at conference;
You failed to engage the leadership of the ANC in a face to face
engagement, and you reduced your relationship with Cde Zuma to an
exchange of letters, whose contents you leaked to Terror Lekota;
You flatly refused to campaign for the ANC, despite your assertion that
you remain a loyal member of the ANC, and demanded that a letter be
written to you in this regard. It was the first time ever that a cadre
of the ANC had to be written a letter in order for them to campaign for
the ANC. Not even Mandela ever made such a demand on the ANC. Such
practice is foreign to the tried and tested traditions of the ANC and
can best be described as anti-ANC;
It is therefore my considered view that you left the state apparatus in
absolute disarray and the state machinery completely paralysed.
It is equally interesting that you believe the Inspector-General will
save the day in what has become public humiliation of Ngcuka and
McCarthy. The fundamental question that must preoccupy the
Inspector-General is not how the tapes found their way to the ANC
President’s lawyers, but rather how deep did this conspiracy ran and to
ensure that relevant organs of state act swiftly to bring the
perpetrators to book.
What happened to the values of the ANC, which at some point in your
political career embodies and taught others? What happened to the ethos
that says the ANC is bigger than all of us, we are but humble servants
of this revolutionary movement? What happened to the pursuit of the
founding ideals of the ANC, which the giants of our revolution who
include Cdes Langalibalele Dube, Sol Plaatjie, Walter Sisulu, Moses
Kotane, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and many others personified?
There remains little doubt that the establishment of COPE has your
blessings and you continue to encourage them to swear by your name
because you do not believe that the ANC can advance the age of hope
under the stewardship of Cde Zuma, and that it will survive without you.
I doubt if today you were president, this conspiracy that has come to
light would have been uncovered.
HEAD OF ORGANISING AND CAMPAIGNS AND MEMBER OF THE ANC NEC AND NWC
Writing in his personal capacity
15 April 2009
DA says Mpshe used Hong Kong judgment in support of his Zuma ruling
Legal Affairs Correspondent
DEMOCRATIC Alliance (DA) researcher James Myburgh has suggested that
acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe relied on
a 2002 Hong Kong judgment — later overturned on appeal — to drop the
corruption case against African National Congress president Jacob Zuma.
Myburgh, editor of Politicsweb, wrote a lengthy column for the website
yesterday. He suggests that the DA may have a case, based on his
interpretation of Mpshe’s statement.
In his statement last Monday, Mpshe quoted extracts from damning
recordings of various telephone conversations between former Scorpions
boss Leonard McCarthy and others in December 2007 during which the case
against Zuma was discussed. Mpshe said it was against this broad
principle of abuse of process that McCarthy’s conduct must be seen and
Mpshe said: “The question for close consideration is encapsulated in
expressions such as ‘so gravely wrong’, ‘gross neglect of the elementary
principles of fairness’, ‘so unfair and wrong’, ‘misusing or
manipulating the process of the court’.” Mpshe said if the conduct could
be so categorised, it would be unconscionable for the trial to continue.
Myburgh wrote that it was quite remarkable how Mpshe’s opinion of
McCarthy so closely resembled that of Justice Conrad Seagrott’s opinion
of the prosecution in his case in the Hong Kong High Court in 2002.
Seagrott had said: “It is against this evolved statement of broad
principle that the prosecution’s failures and shortcomings with regard
to disclosure must be seen and tested. Those for close consideration are
best summed up by such expressions as ‘so gravely wrong’, ‘gross neglect
of the elementary principles of fairness’, ‘so unfair and wrong’,
‘misusing or manipulating the process of the court’.” Seagrott had asked
if those failures could properly be so categorised, whether they were
such as to make it unconscionable that a re-trial should go forward.
Myburgh said Seagrott and Mpshe’s conclusions were also rather similar,
noting further that the Seagrott ruling was overturned on appeal.
Myburgh said in its judgment the Court of Final Appeal had noted that
the court must take account “of the public expectation that persons
charged with serious criminal offences will be brought to trial unless
there is some powerful reason for not doing so”.
A senior NPA official, who did not want to be named, said Mpshe’s
decision to drop the charges was provided for in law.
mabuzae at bdfm.co.za
NPA boss plagiarised judge in Zuma ruling
15 April 2009, 06:55
Red-faced officials have admitted that acting National Prosecuting
Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe plagiarised a Hong Kong judge in his
explanation of why he was dropping all charges against ANC President
But NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali on Tuesday insisted that Mpshe's
failure to acknowledge his borrowing of Hong Kong High Court Justice
Conrad Seagroatt's December 2002 ruling - in his reasoning on the Zuma
decision - was an "innocent oversight".
"We are recognising that what we said was based on that judgment and we
are in no way attempting to pass that ruling off as our own. We regret
the oversight, but it in no way detracts from the decision that advocate
Mpshe reached," he said.
Tlali further pointed out that Mpshe was fully aware that his statement
on the Zuma decision would receive international media attention, and he
would therefore not have deliberately plagiarised from any material.
Mpshe, who is on leave, was not available for comment on why he had
relied so heavily on Justice Seagroatt's decision, which was ultimately
overturned on appeal.
James Myburgh, the editor of the website politicsweb.co.za, on Tuesday
revealed that large tracts of Mpshe's lengthy explanation were
word-for-word copies of a judgment handed down by Justice Seagroatt.
In words echoed by Mpshe in his reasoning on the Zuma decision, Justice
Seagroatt had said: "It is against this evolved statement of broad
principle that the prosecution's failures and shortcomings with regard
to disclosure must be seen and tested. Those for close consideration are
best summed up by such expressions as 'so gravely wrong', 'gross neglect
of the elementary principles of fairness', 'so unfair and wrong', and
'misusing or manipulating the process of the court'. If those failures
can properly be so categorised, are they such as to make it
unconscionable that a retrial should go forward?"
Myburgh said: "It rather strikingly cites all the British Commonwealth
judgments that Mpshe's statement referred to. Even more strikingly, the
phrases quoted are almost all the same as well - give or take some
self-serving truncation and rewriting by the NPA."
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on April 15,
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