On 26 April, author and journalist Jacques Pauw published a series of articles in News24 that dismissed private intelligence reports on the Eskom crime cartels as 'outlandish conspiracy theories'. On 1 June, a practising advocate, former police superintendent and author of key textbooks for the SA Police Service (SAPS) released a legal opinion that concluded the opposite. So, what will the security cluster do about it now?
"In light of the above, it is concluded that the intelligence reports compiled by GFFR [George Fivaz Forensic & Risk] constitute a critical first step and forceful springboard from which investigations into the undoubted criminalities at Eskom can and should be launched."
With this sentence, the final paragraph of an independent legal opinion drawn up by Advocate Cerita Joubert, the controversy that almost resulted in the closure of George Fivaz Forensic & Risk was arguably put to bed.
Joubert, a former police officer with numerous commendations who was promoted to the rank of superintendent in 1997, was chosen by Fivaz for obvious reasons -- not least of which was her election to the position of vice-president of the National Forum of Advocates in 2010.
Perhaps more significant, though, was the fact that Joubert had lectured and published extensively on the methodologies of police work, having acted as the editor and main author on all five editions of a core South African Police Service training manual, Applied Law for Police Officials.
In this context, given that her latest police textbook was published in 2023, Joubert's assessment of the "value" of the intelligence reports was always going to count as authoritative....