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Speaker formally complains of trial leaks

Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal legislature speaker Peggy Nkonyeni has written a letter of complaint to the national director of public prosecutions, the public protector and the Minister of Justice about government officials leaking information about her alleged involvement in the “Amigos” trial.

Nkonyeni, the former health MEC, is accused of accepting bribes to use her “influence” in the government procurement process. Others were accused alongside her.

Appearing in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in 2011, from left, Sipho Shabalala, Gaston Savoi and Busi Nyembezi. The accused appeared in relation to the "three amigo's" trial. Credit: INLSA

In a statement issued by her office on Thursday, Nkonyeni’s spokesman said the leaks violated her constitutional right to a fair trial and reduced the pending trial to a “trial by the media”.

“This began with an article in which one of the NDPP’s senior officials was quoted in a Sunday newspaper giving details of the case even before the speaker was officially charged.

“This was followed by a series of articles apparently leaked by NDPP officials to the media making prejudicial and slanderous statements about her alleged involvement in the so- called Amigo’s case,” it read.

This week a newspaper approached Nkonyeni claiming to have an affidavit from one of the witnesses in the trial detailing her alleged involvement in the case, the statement said.

“I have been subjected to an enormous media onslaught, mostly emanating from the NDPP and particularly its recently ‘demoted’ (acting) provincial director of public prosecutions, advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa,” it said. – The Mercury

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