Judge Desai: If I sinned by defending MK, I plead guilty

Judge Siraj Desai has just concluded his interview for the post of Public Protector.

A screengrab of Judge Siraj Desai being interviewed in Parliament. SABC/YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - Judge Siraj Desai says if he sinned by defending Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) members during apartheid then he pleads guilty.

The High Court judge has concluded his interview for the post of Public Protector.



He's the fourth candidate to be grilled by Members of Parliament (MPs) on a list of 14 hopefuls.

Judge Desai got into his stride recounting his career as a defence attorney on the side of political activists.

Desai says he acted for the African National Congress's military wing Umkhonto weSizwe, its internal security arm Mbokodo, the Pan Africanist Congress and the United Democratic Front but never for any pro-government stooges.

"If I've sinned by defending Umkhonto weSizwe, I plead guilty to that. If I've sinned by acting for Mbokodo, I plead guilty.

"I defended victims of the system of apartheid and I resented the fact that those who opposed us in the courtrooms and elsewhere were living on the fat of apartheid."

Earlier, Desai told MPs he never gave different versions of an incident in India in 2004 when a South African woman accused him of raping her. He added that the allegation was withdrawn under oath.

Watch the interviews live.