Spy tapes: NPA won’t ignore tongue-lashing from court of appeal

2014-09-02 11:03

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The National Prosecuting Authority is looking into the criticism from the Supreme Court of Appeal against a top official.

“The NPA takes the judicial criticism very seriously and is of the view that, as a constitutional institution, disregarding of such criticism would be tantamount to undermining the rule of law, consequently eroding the effectiveness of the judiciary,” it said today.

“In the recent past, the NPA has reacted to judicial criticism by taking the necessary action against those officials against whom the criticism was directed.”

The same would be done now, the NPA said.

The office of the national director of public prosecutions received an unprecedented tongue-lashing in the Zuma “spy tapes” order handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday.

The appeal court said it recently, in another matter, criticised the director of public prosecutions’ office for being “less than candid and forthcoming”.

In its ruling it said: “In the present case, the then [acting] director of public prosecutions Ms [Nomgcobo] Jiba provided an ‘opposing’ affidavit in generalised, hearsay and almost meaningless terms.

“Affidavits from people who had first-hand knowledge of the relevant facts were conspicuously absent.

“Furthermore, it is to be decried that an important constitutional institution such as the office of the director of public prosecutions is loath to take an independent view about confidentiality, or otherwise, of documents and other materials within its possession, particularly in the face of an order of this court.”

The court ended its ruling by saying: “This conduct is not worthy of the office of the director of public prosecutions. Such conduct undermines the esteem in which the office of the director of public prosecutions ought to be held by the citizenry of this country.”

The Democratic Alliance yesterday called on Justice Minister Michael Masutha to make the necessary recommendations to remove deputy NPA head Jiba from office following the ruling.

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