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Criminal Law news

Baloyi says "no-one was cajoled" at Seriti Commission

23 Jan 2013 11:12
No member of the Seriti commission of inquiry received instructions or was cajoled into producing a particular outcome, commission spokesman William Baloyi said on Tuesday (22 January).
"None of us have had any instructions in any form," he said in a statement.

"We as evidence leaders have never at any time been cajoled to have a particular outcome," he said.

Baloyi said none of its members were "employed by the arms commission" and no-one was dictated to or deprived of their own views.

He was responding to allegations that the commission, which is probing the arms deal, was not being transparent and was concealing a "second agenda".

Norman Moabi, a lawyer and former acting judge from Pretoria, wrote in a letter that he was resigning because of interference and because he had lost faith in the commission's work.

According to Moabi, Seriti ruled the commission with an iron fist and facts were manipulated or withheld from commissioners. Contributions from commissioners who did not pursue the "second agenda" were frequently ignored.

Hearings were expected to start in March.

Baloyi said Seriti and the commissioners were respected judges.

"We the evidence leaders are all independent legal practitioners in private practice and are not employed by the arms commission," he said.

He said they had many decades of experience in the legal profession and most of the senior practitioners had served as acting judges in high courts on numerous occasions.

Baloyi said all members of the commission had undertaken to execute their mandate with "integrity, dignity and dedication to the truth".

They were required to contribute to the commission's goal without fear or favour, and were entitled to as much information "as we deem fit".

"At all times we have been treated by the commission with the respect that, as professionals, we would expect and at no time have we gained the impression that matters are being hidden from us," he said.

"Instead we have been actively and consistently encouraged to make contributions on how best the commission should achieve its mandate," he added.

Source: Sapa via I-Net Bridge


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