Saturday, September 6, 2008

Records were forced from us - cellphone firm

Say it with a sting.....

Staff Reporter
September 05 2008 at 02:57PM

Vodacom has defended itself against the handing over to the Erasmus Commission of Inquiry of the cellphone records of Cape Town Mayor and DA leader Helen Zille, saying it had no choice in the matter.

Zille has called the situation "a serious invasion of privacy and unconstitutional in its own right", and charged that Vodacom should have been more careful about ensuring client privacy.

The service provider, she said, should not simply have handed over the records without due diligence.

"There were allegations the City of Cape Town had engaged in illegal spying. The irony is that the only person against whom illegal spying was conducted was myself," Zille said.

Her concern was that an "illegal and unconstitutional commission set up directly for the purpose of smearing me and the DA" was able to obtain all her cellphone records and to trace every person she had spoken to for six months.

Vodacom responded on Friday that while it understood and respected Zille's concerns, the company had received a subpoena from the commission, which was deemed to be a judicial commission of inquiry. As such, Vodacom had provided the information as demanded in terms of the subpoena.

Questioned about who had, as a result, enjoyed access to Zille's cellphone records, commission evidence leader Frans Petersen, who compiled the interim report which was handed to then premier Ebrahim Rasool, said only legal representatives had received their clients' phone records, as had been agreed.

Petersen denied that any cellphone records had been attached to the interim report.

High Court Judges Kevin Swain and Chris Nicholson ruled that the commission had been unconstitutional and illegal.

The judges said the motive behind its establishment had been to embarrass and discredit political opponents, particularly the DA.


This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Argus on September 05, 2008.

Comments by Sonny

Vodacom cries foul!
They should sue the people involved.
Judge Erasmus should be impeached!

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