He ru­ined jus­tice

CityPress - - News - FE­RIAL HAF­FA­JEE news@city­press.co.za

I’ve long thought the for­mer head of the Direc­torate of Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions, Leonard McCarthy, was less than hon­est. The re­lease of tran­scripts of the so-called “spy tapes” – in­ter­cepted con­ver­sa­tions be­long­ing to South Africa’s in­tel­li­gence ser­vices – means I now know so.

I make a cameo ap­pear­ance in the tapes, cour­tesy of McCarthy’s ac­count of con­ver­sa­tions with me The ac­count is false, de­signed to bol­ster the for­mer Scor­pi­ons boss’s sense of self-im­por­tance, along with the high he got from rub­bing shoul­ders with politi­cians.

I doubt for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki told him to speak to me when I edited the Mail & Guardian, to get our team to “quiet down”. We were track­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of cor­rup­tion charges against the man who was then the ANC’s deputy pres­i­dent, Ja­cob Zuma, and McCarthy didn’t have that in­flu­ence. The for­mer pres­i­dent also did not re­ally like the M&G at the time, although he gave us a great in­ter­view.

In fact, McCarthy failed to stop the M&G’s crack team of Ste­faans Brüm­mer and Sam Sole twice be­fore.

He first at­tempted to raid our of­fices to gain ac­cess to doc­u­ments. When that failed, he took us to court to in­ter­dict re­ports about the cor­rupt­ing of for­mer na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Jackie Selebi. That ex­posé also fea­tured Brett Keb­ble, who was, of course, the first per­son to blow the whis­tle on po­lit­i­cally cor­rupt pros­e­cu­tions. McCarthy failed both times be­cause the M&G’s lawyers made ex­cel­lent pub­lic in­ter­est ar­gu­ments. Jus­tice works that way. And while he makes us sound buddy-buddy, I was no friend of his.

My one meet­ing with him was to get in­for­ma­tion about the date of Zuma’s pros­e­cu­tion. It yielded lit­tle. But the par­ti­san rub­bish he spouted at our one meet­ing is at the heart of the spy tapes. He was im­paled by the se­duc­tions of power. He ru­ined our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. I find it breathtaking that he is vice-pres­i­dent of in­tegrity at the World Bank in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

That meet­ing was part of a se­ries of meet­ings we held with all­sidesinthe­high­drama: MbekiandZuma, alltheir­re­spec­tive ad­vis­ers, and all sides at war in the NPA. We did what jour­nal­ists do – we re­ported ev­ery­thing. The ar­chives prove this.

I wish McCarthy and for­mer na­tional di­rec­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions Bule­lani Ngcuka had ex­er­cised fair­ness and due dili­gence, as well as the con­sti­tu­tional en­treaty to act with­out fear, favour or prej­u­dice.

They’ve ru­ined the in­de­pen­dence of our cor­ner­stone in­sti­tu­tions and en­sured jus­tice will not be done in this case.

(see above).

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