'No more information on Manto case'

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

The National Prosecuting Authority will provide no more details to the media on its investigations into the theft of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's medical records.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said yesterday the outcome of the case would be announced once all issues had been resolved.

Over the past few weeks, the NPA has been dribbling information on the case to the media.

Last week, Scorpions handed the docket back to police for further investigation because "it did not have enough evidence to prosecute".

Many newspapers have reported that Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya and the deputy managing editor, Jocelyn Maker, would be arrested for being in possession of copies of the files, and for having published information from those records.

The police have denied that they would arrest the two.

The Sunday Times has insisted it did not pay for the files.

But the newspaper used the "medical records" as the basis for a report describing Tshabalala-Msimang's alleged drunken behaviour and abuse of hospital staff while in Cape Town Hospital for a shoulder operation.

The paper also published damning allegations of her conviction for theft in Botswana in 1976 for stealing a patient's belongings.

Media groups and activists have lashed out at the manner in which the investigation has been conducted.

They have accused government of a clampdown on press freedom and of using state institutions to settle scores with opponents in the media.

Sunday Times lawyer, Eric van den Berg, has reached an agreement with the NPA's Western Cape chief Rodney de Kock for Makhanya and Maker to present themselves in court at a "convenient time for all concerned" if they are charged.