Simelane gets his way

2010-12-24 13:04

After months of ambivalence, prosecutions boss Menzi Simelane has finally disbanded the national office of the serious commercial crimes unit (SCCU).

Simelane was in hot water earlier this year after he unilaterally gave instructions for the central functions of the SCCU and asset forfeiture unit (AFU) to be unbundled and moved to provincial offices.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe halted the moves, but has now agreed that prosecutors working for the SCCU in future report to their provincial heads.

The AFU, headed by deputy prosecutions boss Willie Hofmeyr, stays in tact, with a national component.

In a letter dated December 3, sent to all directors of public prosecutions, Simelane announced that the “re-allignment” of the SCCU and AFU had been approved by Radebe and justice director general Nonkululeko Msomi.

The effect of this decision is:
» All officials based in the SCCU will now report to the provincial directors of public prosecutions;
» Corruption cases are to be prosecuted by specialist prosecutors in the complex commercial crime units in provinces;
» All AFU cases are to be handled in the provincial offices, but provincial heads will report monthly to Hofmeyr.
The National Prosecuting Authority was still finalising talks with the Hawks, Special Investigating Unit and National Treasury in setting up an anti-corruption task team in 2011.

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