Thursday, October 23, 2003

Curiouser and curiouser. It seems that, after Maharaj made the allegations against Ngcuka, he phoned around looking for evidence to substantiate his claim that Ngcuka was an apartheid-era spy. This was the testimony of Letha Jolebe (chief ditrector in housing department) and Ntobeko Maqubela (attorney, and former comrade of Ngcuka) before the Hefer Commission today. The obvious question this raises is why Maharaj felt it necessary to find evidence after he had made his allegations. Surely, if one is to make such inflammatory and far-reaching statements, one ought to have all the evidence beforehand?

I was also interested to see, once again in the M&G, that Maharaj and Shaik weren't present at the Commission today, which deprived them of an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses who made allegations against them, namely, Jolebe and Maqubela. Maharaj and Shaik will only be able to do so if they make an application at a later stage, which may or may not be successful. Apparently, they were busy preparing their statements and are upset by the fact that the state isn't covering their legal costs.

Now, this is either an indication of great confidence (the case yet to be presented is so strong that they don't need to respond to the allegations made against them) or simple recklessness towards the proceedings. Until all the evidence is in, and the Commission is wrapped up, it will remain rather difficult to pass judgment on this pair.


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