Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

If you’d had any doubts, there’s no denying it any longer: the much-feared Hawks are all bird-brain and zero strategic-smarts. This is an inescapable conclusion based on the list of witnesses the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) intends to call to "prove" its case that three former SA Revenue Service (Sars) employees, including former acting commissioner Ivan Pillay, were key players in a "rogue unit" that illegally spied on a number of people. Only, their list of star witnesses includes such examples of impeccable integrity as the revenue service’s former second-in-command Jonas Makwakwa, former national director of public prosecutions Menzi Simelane, and suspected rhino poacher Mike Peega. Were Jacob Zuma to call Schabir Shaik as a character witness on his behalf in his corruption trial, or if J Arthur Brown came out to bat for Markus Jooste, it would be less obviously satirical. But no, the authorities seem intent on trying to prove a deficient case with a coalition of the in...

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