South Africa officials stiring the pot in Palermo

There was a meeting between Court Officials in Palermo and a delegation from the South African Department of Justice, consisting of four officials: Advocate Pikoli, E. Daniels, N.J. Makhuebele and F. Fortune. This meeting took place while proceedings were underway in the trial, which was critically detrimental to Palazzolo’s case.

In the court proceedings the delegation had insisted that the Italian and South African defence counsel be excluded from the meeting. During the meeting they stated that they were prepared to accept the rogatory proceedings proposed by the Italian Authorities, on condition that the witnesses that had already been approved by the Court, namely Nguka, Morrison and Bruce (the South Africans) were excluded from the list of witnesses. Which the court – without consulting the Defence, and in their absence – accepted. Thus excluding them from the rogatory proceedings.

Their motive:

These high ranking officials (Deputy Attorney General, Attorney General of the Republic of South Africa and the Head of the Interpol Office in Pretoria) would have been asked by Palazzolo’s Defence Counsel whether he had committed any crimes in South Africa, and whether there were any investigations underway in his regard? To which the only reply was that he hadn’t, and there were none. And, moreover, that they themselves had withdrawn all the charges based on the police reports drawn up by Smith and Viljoen, as can be seen from the Order dated 07/09/01, in which it specified that they “would never again in the future proceed against him with regard to the same faces referred to in the Order”. They would also have had to refer to the existence of the acquittal judgment relating to Palazzolo handed down on 14/03/03 for the charge of fraud regarding the acquisition of South African citizenship.