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Promised new SIU head must be appointed urgently

Debbie Schafer, Shadow Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
23 August 2012

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the Justice Minister's assurance yesterday that a new head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) will be appointed "imminently". 

We trust that this will be attended to as a matter of the utmost urgency.

Since Adv Nomvula Mokhatla has been acting head of the SIU, she has:
1.    Reinstated Head of Business Support, Mizeria Nyathi, against the advice of the SIU's own lawyers, avoiding the disciplinary hearing she faced.
2.    Stopped the disciplinary hearing against Western Cape SIU head, Mike Leaser, who faced in the region of 10 disciplinary charges.
3.    Has according to our information hardly convened any executive committee meetings of the SIU, which used to meet on a weekly basis under the leadership of William Hofmeyr.
In addition, the Head of Communications, Marike Muller, has resigned, as has Peter Bishop, Acting Head: Projects Director. Suspicion is rife within the SIU that Advocate Bobby Walser is about to be suspended by Mokhatla, and that it is because of the fact that he was involved in the disciplinary action against Mizeria Nyathi.

It is clear that the SIU, which is such a vital body in the combatting of corruption in South Africa, is in complete disarray. It is extremely concerning that this has been allowed to happen to a body which was functioning extremely well under the leadership of Willie Hofmeyr. The President has still not provided reasons as to why Hofmeyr was removed in the first place.

We trust that the President will do all he can to convince the South African public that the ANC really is serious about corruption, and urgently appoint a new Head who will be truly independent with the integrity and ability to take this vital unit forward.