Willem Heath (bdlive.co.za)
The SIU has been without a permanent head since December 2011, when Willem Heath stepped down. Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba lasted just a week as acting head before current incumbent Nomvula Mokhatla was appointed.
Shadow deputy minister of justice and constitutional development, Debbie Schafer MP said in a statement: “As the President continues to ignore calls to appoint a permanent head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which is now in its fifteenth month of not having a permanent head, we have now learnt that the current executive committee is so desperate to avoid further scandal in the unit that it called in the head of IT last Friday and asked him to hack the private email accounts of all the members of the Special Investigating Unit.
“Apart from the fact that this is illegal, it shows just how desperate the situation at the SIU has become. If the President was really concerned about the integrity of the SIU, he would have ensured that a fit and proper person was appointed as a permanent head at the beginning of last year.”
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said last week the appointment of a new head of the SIU was “imminent”. Schafer said the DA would ask the President Zuma to update them on the status of the appointment. “We sincerely trust that he will come prepared to give satisfactory answers to the people of South Africa,” she said.
The Mail and Guardian claims the SIU problems centre around the reinstatement of business support head Miseria Nyathi, who was dismissed after being charged with submitting false overtime claims and refusing to undergo a lie-detector test.
The DA claims Nyathi is being considered as the new permanent head of the SIU, and criticised acting head Mokhatla for reinstating her and allowing her to act as head of the Internal Integrity Unit, whereby she took control of her own disciplinary case.