Why I axed Mollele — NPA boss

2011-08-26 00:00

THE National Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Menzi Simelane, said he will continue to withhold certain powers from the head of the KZN Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), advocate Knorx Mollele, until internal investigations against him are completed.

Simelane was speaking to reporters after giving a lecture on the role of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the criminal justice system, which was held at the UKZN’s Howard College in Durban yesterday.

In what was described as an internal feud within the NPA last month, Simelane announced that Mollele had been stripped of his powers to make applications for assets forfeiture on behalf of the national director and removed from the R200 million Intaka corruption case.

Simelane confirmed that the reasons for suspending Mollele, related to his conduct in the Intaka case, “which was allegedly not consistent with the way the NPA operated”.

“I considered a lot of facts before stripping him of those powers and remain convinced that I took the right decision.

“I will hold on to those powers until I am convinced otherwise,” Simelane said.

He was asked about last week’s call from the South African Communist Party (SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal for him to be removed as the head of the NPA on the grounds that no major convictions have been secured since he took over two years ago and that the situation within the NPA has deteriorated because of infighting

Simelane replied that the SACP was entitled to its opinions on the NPA.

He said he was convinced that he was doing a good work.

In his address to the students he emphasised that the role of the NPA in the criminal justice system is not driven by an intention to secure convictions, “but to present the facts before the courts and ensure that justice is done”.

Contrary to the popular belief that most prosecutors are corrupt and are receiving bribes from criminals, Simelane said, fewer than 10% of prosecutors across the country have been charged with criminal offences.

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