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 Withhold Rasool's appointment - DA

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PosOnderwerp: Withhold Rasool's appointment - DA   Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:25 am

2010-07-04 21:18







Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has asked President Jacob Zuma to withhold the appointment of former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool as ambassador designate in the United States, the party said on Sunday.
"The DA has written to Zuma, requesting that he intervenes and withholds Rasool's appointment pending an investigation into the damning corruption allegations against him," said DA MP Kenneth Mubu in a statement.
The Cape Argus said on Wednesday that it was "aghast" at revelations that their former political reporter, Ashley Smith, allegedly took payments to write articles favourable to Rasool, then Western Cape premier.

In an affidavit, Smith said Rasool had used him as his "front line of attack" against rivals in the African National Congress, particularly provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha.
Mubu said: "While officials in the US embassy in South Africa have confirmed that Rasool has been accepted as South Africa's next ambassador, it is up to the President to exercise his prerogative and withhold the appointment in light of the serious corruption allegations against him."
In a copy of the letter he wrote to Zuma, Mubu said he had no doubt that the president had every intention of ensuring that those with questionable records in public service were removed from service.
"There can be no doubt that the allegations against Rasool have raised serious questions about his conduct as a public representative.
"The DA is calling on the President to put his words into action."


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PosOnderwerp: Smith may regret going public on Rasool before NPA indeminty   Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:33 pm

Friday, July 02, 2010
Reads: 351 | Comments: 0 | 7114By Michael Trapido ;

Sapa are reportingFriday that the National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed returning the affidavit of former Cape Argus journalist Ashley Smith.

The NPA's Western Cape office on Friday released a statement saying that they had returned it to Smith's lawyers.

In addition the statement confirms that the NPA had "informally" received the affidavit from a lawyer acting for Smith - the reporter who is at the centre of the 'Rasool affair'. A former political reporter on the Cape Argus, Ashley Smith, said this week that he and another staffer took payments to write articles promoting Rasool, who was then Western Cape premier.

The statement continues :

"After consideration of the contents of the affidavit, the NPA feels that it is premature to consider an application for indemnity as requested by Mr Smith. The lawyer of Mr Smith has been advised to refer the matter to the police for investigation, if he so wishes. Should the matter be referred to the DPP [the Western Cape director of public prosecutions] by the police, a decision on indemnity may be considered."

Rasool, who became a member of the National Assembly after he was axed from the premiership by his own party in 2008, is South Africa's ambassador-designate to Washington. -sapa

Accordingly it is clear that when Smith submitted the affidavit this week he asked for
indemnity against any possible criminal charges in terms of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedures Act 51 of 1977.

In terms of the affidavit concerned - now that it is in the public domain - it will be difficult to claim privilege or that it was only given in return for indemnity.

While it does not constitute a confession it will be very difficult for Smith to give evidence in contradiction of that set out in his affidavit in a criminal trial.

Moreover it has been given voluntarily and without any undue pressure and certainly indicates that crimes have been committed.

He will now be in the unenviable position of having put these prima facie criminal acts into the public domain without an indemnity.

The best he can hope for now is indeminty or that somehow the state elects not to proceed which is unlikely given the evidence he has put before them.

Both Helen Zille and the ANC have confirmed that they will be investigating these claims.
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