Radebe appoints advocate to replace Menzi Simelane

2009-10-10 15:08

JUSTICE Minister Jeff Radebe has appointed Advocate Simon Jiyane as his department’s acting director-general.

Jiyane, who has been working at the justice department as the deputy director-general responsible for court services, will replace Menzi Simelane, who has since been appointed as one of four deputy national directors of public prosecutions.

Radebe’s spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, said Jiyane would act in the position until a permanent replacement for Simelane was appointed.

He said Simelane would take up his new post ­tomorrow.

“We confirm that from Monday Advocate Menzi Simelane will be part of the National Prosecuting Authority, appointed at the NPA as a deputy national director of public prosecutions,” he said.

In terms of the NPA Act, the justice minister can appoint up to four deputies to Mokotedi Mpshe.

Mpshe himself is acting in his post while Vusi Pikoli, his predecessor, is fighting his high-profile suspension.

Simelane replaces former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy, who left the NPA under a cloud to take up a post at the World Bank.

Simelane joins Sibongile Mzinyathi, Silas Ramaite and Willie Hofmeyr, who are the other deputies to Mpshe.

Last year former National Assembly speaker Frene Ginwala, who conducted an investigation into whether Pikoli was fit to hold office, found that Simelane had interfered in the NPA’s prosecution of former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

At the time, Ginwala branded Simelane as “dishonest, conniving and arrogant”.

Ginwala concluded that Simelane misled former justice minister Brigitte Mabandla about the Selebi case.

On September 18 2007, Simelane drafted a letter to Pikoli, which was signed by Mabandla, ordering Pikoli to stop the Scorpions’ corruption ­investigation against Selebi and to hand the case docket over to the then minister.

The document, Ginwala said, was “tantamount to executive interference with the prosecutorial independence of the National Prosecuting Authority, which is recognised as a serious offence in the act”.

After the Ginwala inquiry, Mabandla’s successor, Enver Surty, asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate Ginwala’s findings against Simelane.

Tlali said former PSC head Stan Sangweni had presented his report to Radebe.

“The minister then afforded Advocate Simelane an opportunity to respond to the report. Simelane’s response to the report has been brought to the attention of the new PSC chairperson for consideration,” he said.


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