Why NPA declined to prosecute Haswell

2011-08-08 00:00

THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed on Friday that former Msunduzi municipal manager Rob Haswell, who was the accounting officer at the height of the financial woes of the council, will not be prosecuted.

In an SMS responding to questions by The Witness, provincial NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said: “We did decline to prosecute as there was no prospect of a successful prosecution.”

The Witness also asked the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nomsa Dube, if she was aware that the NPA has declined to prosecute Haswell.

“I cannot comment because I have not seen the report,” said the MEC during the launch of the R8 million Mandela Museum and memorial project in Howick on Friday.

The leader of the Democratic Alliance caucus in the municipality, Bill Lambert, said: “I am surprised that Haswell would not be prosecuted because barely four days ago the administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, made a presentation in full council about the suspensions and the cases that have been opened.”

Lambert said they were informed that a case has been opened against the former municipal manager, though he could not comment further on the matter as he has no information about the latest developments.

The Inkatha Freedom Party caucus leader in council, Dolo Zondi, said: “We find it very strange that the accounting officer for the municipality that was on the brink of collapse cannot be prosecuted for bringing the Msunduzi Municipality to its knees.

“Haswell is a card-carrying member of the ANC and he was also deployed by the ruling party to the position of the municipal manager.

“We want the public and ratepayers to know it has become a trend for the ANC at national, provincial and local government to let corrupt officials off the hook” Zondi added.

He said some officials commit acts of corruption on the instructions of certain political figures in the province, which is why they are not brought to book.

Council speaker Babu Baijoo declined to comment on the latest developments because, he said, the matter has not been brought to the council’s attention.

“We were shocked to see the story in the newspapers,” he said.

Attempts to reach Haswell were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.

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