Mo­tives of Gupta e-mails smell fishy

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Mekoa Sereme

WHAT are the le­gal im­pli­ca­tions, ram­i­fi­ca­tions, reper­cus­sions and con­se­quences re­gard­ing the re­cently leaked Gup­tas elec­tronic mails fi­asco?

This looks like work done by hack­ers (spec­u­la­tion) and on the other hand, “data steal­ing” is a crim­i­nal of­fence (logic and com­mon sense).

These leaks could also have been part of the ANC’s in­ter­nal power con­tes­ta­tion bat­tles in­volv­ing rogue fac­tions. It has hap­pened be­fore.

The fact of the mat­ter is that “il­le­gally ob­tained ev­i­dence is not ad­mis­si­ble in a court of law”. That type of ev­i­dence is con­sid­ered to be in­ad­mis­si­ble, ir­rel­e­vant, ir­ra­tional, in­valid, il­le­gal, un­law­ful and un­con­sti­tu­tional.

What were the mo­tives and in­ten­tions of hack­ing into those servers and re­triev­ing such con­fi­den­tial and pri­vate in­for­ma­tion?

What does the South African Law of Ev­i­dence say re­gard­ing such type of ev­i­dence, es­pe­cially pri­vate priv­i­leges?

Is it re­ally nec­es­sary to prove their au­then­tic­ity if they were il­le­gally ob­tained? What about au­tho­rised and ap­proved search-and-seizure war­rants from judges? What does the Com­puter Ev­i­dence Amend­ment Act say?

What about Law of Ev­i­dence Amend­ment Act? Wasn’t the Elec­tronic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Trans­ac­tions Act com­pro­mised? Any con­tra­ven­tions of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dures Act?

Con­tra­ven­tions of the Reg­u­la­tion of In­ter­cep­tion of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Pro­vi­sion of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion-re­lated In­for­ma­tion Act? Will the up­com­ing Cy­ber Crime and Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Bill/Act, com­bat such il­le­gal and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties?

Can these sce­nar­ios of “steal­ing data from unau­tho­rised com­put­ers us­ing spy­ing soft­wares and re­mote ac­cess tools”, be re­garded as acts of es­pi­onage and trea­son?

I’m not go­ing to en­ter­tain Ju­lian As­sange’s, Chelsea Man­ning’s and Ed­ward Snow­den’s

Il­le­gally ob­tained ev­i­dence is not ad­mis­si­ble …

cases.

The prob­lem is that the Gup­tas, the Zu­mas and other peo­ple im­pli­cated in those hacked elec­tronic mails are blacks, will they blame and use “white monopoly cap­i­tal” as a scape­goat?

This will now be­come a racism and su­prem­a­cist is­sue in­stead of the “state cap­ture” case in hand. The bone of con­tention is if this could have been ex­po­sure of the ANC-led gov­ern­ment’s “mas­sive il­le­gal sur­veil­lance” on the cit­i­zenry.

Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng once said that “the rule of law is the cor­ner­stone of our con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy”. Was the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion vi­o­lated? Se­bo­keng

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