February 12, 2019.
Yesterday, Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Advocate Willie Hofmeyr,
Among other things, Adv Hofmeyr regretted accusing President Thabo Mbeki of political interference into the affairs of NPA with respect to criminal charges preferred against then President of the African National Congress, President Jacob Zuma, in December 2007.
When this matter served before the courts, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation issued a statement on April 9, 2015 in response to the Hofmeyr allegations against President Mbeki. Below we republish the statement, not because President Mbeki has been vindicated, but for the very serious public interest implications that attach to the allegations by a high ranking civil servant, Adv Hofmeyr.
We cannot but stress the point that in its interest, the nation as a whole is obliged to reflect on and seriously discuss the tendency for the use of lies in the conduct of public affairs as part of our country’s renewal process whose success or failure will ultimately determine our destiny.
In doing so, we must also discuss the remedial measures (most of which are already catered for in the law) that must be taken against those whose acts of commission or omission have and continue to exert a plethora of very negative consequences on the country.
Thabo Mbeki Foundation.
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
Issued by the Office of Thabo Mbeki, Johannesburg. April 9 2015.