Ex-Judge Advised Zuma in NPA Battle

Cape Times (South Africa), June 17, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Ex-Judge Advised Zuma in NPA Battle


BYLINE: ANGELA QUINTAL

FORMER judge Willem Heath is back in from the cold and is to be appointed Justice Minister Jeff Radebe's special adviser.

This was confirmed yesterday by Radebe's new spokes-man, Tlali Tlali, who said it was expected the appointment would be sealed "in a matter of days".

Heath, as a legal adviser to President Jacob Zuma, played a key role in the efforts that led to the dropping of the corruption charges against the ANC leader before the general elections in April.

"The minister considered the qualities and special attributes that Willem Heath brings as a former legal practitioner and a former judge," Tlali said yesterday.

"I don't think it is proper to disqualify him or not consider him on the basis that he may have provided advice to ANC leaders."

Heath was not in a position to comment yesterday.

Among the key tasks facing Radebe is the transformation of the judiciary, including ensuring that the controversial Superior Courts Bill becomes law this year, and ensuring greater access to the courts for all citizens. Regulating the legal profession through the Legal Practice Bill is also considered a priority by his ministry.

As head of what was to become the Special Investigating Unit, Heath clashed with then-president Thabo Mbeki and the ANC leadership over his investigation into the arms deal.

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Ex-Judge Advised Zuma in NPA Battle
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