"I've never been subjected to any pressure"-Vas Soni on resignation as SIU Head

Photo: Outgoing Head of the Special Investigating Unit, Advocate Vas Soni. Credit: eNCA.

Following the Monday announcement of his resignation of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU)'s top post, Advocate Vas Soni has maintained that he wasn't politically pushed out of the position. Speaking to 702's John Robbie, Soni also says it was a difficult decision to make and one that he made to look after his wife who isn't well:

I left a long career in practices as an advocate and when I took the job (as SIU Head), I thought this is where I would end my career - sadly, it's not to be. I can say unequivocally that the only reason (why he resigned) is so I can spend time with my wife.

Regarding concerns raised around the timing of his resignation coinciding with well reported crises in the SAPS, the Hawks, the NPA and SARS, Soni maintained his stance:

Before I made my decision, it just became clear to me that the coincidences would be put together and people would draw lines and try and link them. I want to say unequivocally, that is not the case, it's purely coincidental. (On finding the architect was to blame during the SIU's investigation on Nkandla) the Integrity Unit doesn't investigate at all, a team is appointed and chosen in a particular way, so it's quite random. They do the investigation, they are the real hero's and uncover all the maladministration and corruption. My role really is to guide them. If there was pressure to be put on me, I would have to say to them 'please leave this out and leave that out'. I think they are people of integrity who would never allow that happen so I can say to you, absolutely, clearly - I have never put any pressure in any of our investigations and I can say to you, I have never been subjected to any pressure.

Soni outlined his priorities and plans for the future, in returning to private practice as an advocate:

The advantage of private practice is it gives me the flexibility. The real problem with the SIU job is I leave home just after 6 every day and at the time of Nkandla, I would get home at 8 in the evening. I think that's what the job really requires and I think it would be highly unfair to my wife if I would continue doing that at this stage.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) Lawson Naidoo said that Soni's leaving would affect the entire intelligence and criminal justice system.

Soni was appointed as the head of the SIU in August 2013.

Speaking to 702's Xolani Gwala, Naidoo explained that those who would benefit from the instability of the SIU are those who are seeking to avoid accountability for corruption:

It once again brings instability to one of the key institutions in the fight against corruption and in order to be successful in that fight against corruption in South Africa we need to have strong institutions to deal with that and the ever-changing leadership within these institutions obviously undermines that fight [against corruption] ... Weak institutions allow people to get away with corruption and other unethical conduct and criminal activity.

Naidoo further highlighted a number of other key anti-corruption institutions that are also in a vulnerable position as the leadership has either been suspended or under the threat of suspension.

In the case of the Hawks we know that Lieutenant-General Dramat for example has said that he believes that he's been suspended because of some high profile investigations that he's been involved with and that the Zimbabwean rendition case is simply a smokescreen to hide that ... We know with the NPA also that there has been political influence in terms of prosecutorial decisions and the Supreme Court of Appeal has castigated senior figures in the NPA for their lethargy in acting, and acting unprofessionally.

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Bloomberg makes fishy discovery when visiting Charles King (new owner of Tegeta)

Bloomberg makes fishy discovery when visiting Charles King (new owner of Tegeta)

Why is its registered address that of a violin shop? Bruce Whitfield interviews Intellidex’s Stuart Theobald.

5 reasons your expenses feel so much more (than the 4.6% inflation rate)

5 reasons your expenses feel so much more (than the 4.6% inflation rate)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Econometrix Treasury Management Director George Glynos.

Meet Jonathan Ball, founder of South Africa’s leading publisher of English books

Meet Jonathan Ball, founder of South Africa’s leading publisher of English books

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Ball, who created Jonathan Ball Publishers 41 years ago.

This sport requires you to run, drive and fight all while remaining seated

This sport requires you to run, drive and fight all while remaining seated

eSports are more than just a game now and may even be an Olympic sport by 2024.

Gauteng Hawks boss suspended and Matric 2014 results wait almost over

Gauteng Hawks boss suspended and Matric 2014 results wait almost over

Midday Report - where you won't miss a thing!

Nkandla architect wants the Department of Public Works to also be charged

Nkandla architect wants the Department of Public Works to also be charged

Lawyers representing the architect of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, gave the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) until the end of business yesterday to make the Department of Public Works a respondent in its case against him.

Popular articles
5 reasons why South Africa granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

5 reasons why South Africa granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity

 Simon Allison, Africa Editor at the Mail & Guardian explains the political considerations behind Mugabe's diplomatic immunity.

"ANN7 and  New Age sale is effectively a transaction between  Manyi and Guptas"

"ANN7 and New Age sale is effectively a transaction between Manyi and Guptas"

Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor at Mail & Guardian breaks down the sale of Gupta owned ANN7 TV Station and The New Age paper.

This is incredibly embarrassing for both countries - SAIIA Head of Governance

This is incredibly embarrassing for both countries - SAIIA Head of Governance

On Saturday international relations minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane granted diplomatic immunity to Grace Mugabe.

Read and weep: 10 of the most expensive houses in South Africa

Read and weep: 10 of the most expensive houses in South Africa

These super luxury houses with enormous price tags will induce some serious house envy.

44 drivers arrested for drunk driving in WC traffic blitz

44 drivers arrested for drunk driving in WC traffic blitz

Western Cape provincial traffic chief, Kenny Africa gives traffic updates of what he described as a very hectic weekend in the WC.

Grace Mugabe immunity: SA between ‘rock & hard place’

Grace Mugabe immunity: SA between ‘rock & hard place’

Professor Christopher Landsberg has praised the International Relations and Cooperation Minister for her 'honest approach'.

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

A caller wanted to know what the alleged victim had done in order for Grace Mugabe to assault her.

Meet Bonang Mohale, BLSA's outspoken (‘don’t blame colonialism’) Chairperson

Meet Bonang Mohale, BLSA's outspoken (‘don’t blame colonialism’) Chairperson

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Business Leadership South Africa’s Mohale for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.