`It's rubbish' - Pik Botha

Chiara Carter

The head of the elite presidential task unit charged with investigating Vito Palazzolo is standing by what he told the Mail & Guardian about an alleged photograph of former minister of foreign affairs Pik Botha in a compromising position.

Botha was reported on the weekend to have said he intended suing the M&G and the South African Police Service for R10-million. He reportedly said police National Commissioner George Fivaz had assured him that unit head Piet Viljoen did not say his investigation had come across claims about the photograph.

But Viljoen this week repeated what he said.
He said in the course of his investigations he had heard about the photograph from a person whom he regarded as a “reliable informant”. He had not seen the photograph, which he believed was in the hands of an intelligence agency.

He had other photographs of Botha together with Palazzolo and National Party MP Peet de Pontes. These might well have been taken at NP gatherings. Viljoen emphasised that his investigation was about Palazzolo, not Botha.

Botha has said the claim that he was caught in bed with a black woman was “absolute rubbish”. In comments to Rapport, Botha said he was aggrieved that a policeman had linked him to somebody like Palazzolo, whom he did not know.

“I had nothing to do with Palazzolo. He was an acquaintance and a friend of the NP in the Cape,” Botha told Rapport. “It is with disgust that I find myself in a society where the police service spreads such rubbish.”

The Ministry of Intelligence did not respond to inquiries about the photograph.

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