Things have been a tad slow for lawyers this year. So the return to court last week of former president Jacob “Stalingrad” Zuma would have served as a useful tonic for our learned friends… a reminder that there is life after lockdown. Here’s a client who’s not afraid to go the distance!
Many South Africans were still young when Zuma began his brave fight to distance himself socially from arms deal fraud and corruption charges.
The matter dates back to the 1990s, but really only got going as recently as 2003, when the then-head of prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka, decided that although a case could be made against Zuma, charging Zuma’s best mate Schabir Shaik was a better bet.
Breaking news from the front
Fast forward to Tuesday last week and Old Bedroom Eyes was still fighting the good fight.
News24’s Kaveel Singh was there to record the drama, including breaking news of an adjournment to September.
It’s edge-of-the-seat stuff now!
Will the prosecution be able to get witnesses for the co-accused, French arms company Thales, to court in the face of a Covid-19 travel ban?
Will a full indictment be ready in time?
And will the judge be in a position to announce a trial date?
Where there’s a will…
Hold onto your hats folks, this one’s got legs!
More reasons for cheer at the bar!
Magda Wierzycka, the fund manager who is soon to take up a role on reality TV’s The Apprentice, has once again announced she will be suing that other loveable media personality, Iqbal Survé. (The US edition of the series proved a launch pad for Donald Trump. – Editor)
Ok, ok, not Survé in person, but both his company and top Business Report editrix, Adri Senekal de Wet.
Never mind lockdown, this is Groundhog Day!
If you take the time to follow these things (and we wouldn’t recommend it), Wierzycka has for the past couple of years been trading barbs with Survé and Senekal de Wet. (Note to subs: Can’t we do something about all these hard-to-pronounce names. – Ed).
Wierzycka has questioned the valuations, profit forecasts and funding with public money of some of Survé companies.
And Survé (better known to his legions of admirers as Doc) and his team have hit back with counter-claims and even laid criminal charges for alleged extortion.
It’s all gotten very hot and heavy.
Suits you, Sir
This weekend News24 reported that Wierzycka was bringing her third suit against Survé & co.
She has filed papers in the Western Cape High Court seeking R10 million in damages over a 18 May opinion piece by Senekal de Wet, which Wierzycka says was false and defamatory.
This editrix, among other things, revealed that Wierzycka has been quiet on the (probably unrelated) Steinhoff saga; preferring to deploy “classic neuro-linguistic programming” tactics; “throw mud” and use “dirty tricks”.
Wierzycka should rather “mind her own dirty laundry” (to quote the headline on the opinion piece).
So yes, filthy stuff indeed and no wonder Wierzycka is hopping mad.
But there is a silver lining.
Defamation matters where the facts are in dispute typically take years to resolve.
Great news for lawyers!
For the flagging Business Report, it means more (non-fee-bearing) grist to the op-ed mill and even Wierzycka gets some useful publicity ahead of her new career on the idiot box.
Everyone’s a winner.
With friends like these…
More breaking news from the world of South African television “personalities”, this time courtesy of Sunday Times Tshisa-live columnist, Chrizelda Kekana.
We learn that Somizi Mhlongo has discovered… who would have thunk it… that friends can be fickle.
The SA Idols judge needed his peeps to rally round, to make up numbers for another reality TV show project he is working on, but “some just declined, like without an explanation”.
Somizi said it made him see that past favours counted for little. “I realised that nobody owes you s**t.”
Like nothing to complain about then, my larnhee…
Kinder, gentler policing
Are SA cops getting all touchy-feely on us?
On recent lockdown evidence, probably not.
But SAPS national spokesman Colonel Athlenda Mathe seemed positively solicitous when commenting on bystanders who jostled to get at what was left after robbers blew up a cash van in Benoni on Friday.
Mathe, reports News24, urged the public to avoid looting these vans because the crime scenes could be very dangerous, especially if explosives were used during the robberies.
“It is for this reason that we warn members of the community that, in some instances, it is possible that not all explosives were detonated at the time when the robbery was committed.
“This, therefore, poses a risk for the detonator to explode in their presence, thereby posing a risk for the loss of life,” he said.
Who said, kragdadigheid?
Defund the police
Two Limpopo police officer who allegedly robbed a fellow police officer and his wife at gunpoint, have been granted bail, reports News24.
Juan brave hombre
Feeling bogged down and blue by lockdown travel restrictions? Perhaps a little timorous about where you can or can’t go?
Not Argentine Juan Manuel Ballestero.
The New York Times reports that the 47-year-old was on the tiny Portuguese island of Porto Santo when lockdown was called.
He could have stayed put, but wanted to get home to his dad who was soon to turn 90.
So he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with fruit, rice and canned food and did just that, setting sail solo in mid-March and arriving in his native Mar del Plata, on 17 June.
It was too late for his father’s birthday but in time for Father’s Day.
“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Mr. Ballestero said. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family,” he told Daniel Politi.
Shades of the days when ships were wood and men were steel…