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NPA: Perception or reality?

22 November 2012, 11:22

The Non-independent NPA

So Ms Jiba came out guns blazing about the perception that the NPA is not independent and that “it strives to prosecute without fear or favour”.  Her response that it is just a perception can be described as bizarre.

Before dealing with the genesis of these perceptions, which are real, I point out an extract from the SCA judgement relating to the matter of the spy tapes where the SCA said “. In light of the concession made by the NDPP on the question of reviewability, it is difficult to understand why it persisted in pursuing the appeal on this aspect. It does not reflect well on the NDPP”.

We, the people of South Africa, perceive the NPA to be biased in its prosecutions and politicians from the ruling elite are not prosecuted.

Here are a few examples:

1.     The Mail and Guardian printed allegations that Mac Maharaj lied to the NPA during a Section 28 inquiry about receiving money received offshore, yet the SAPS chose to investigate the newspaper and its editor, Nic Dawes for printing the story instead of prosecuting Mr Maharaj for the lies he allegedly told during the inquiry.  What is the NPA doing about the allegation that Mr Maharaj lied during the Section 28 inquiry?.

2.     Mr Zuma perjured himself, in addition to the more than 700 charges of fraud and corruption when he claimed that he did not meet Alain Thethard, a finding of Judge Hilary Squires; - why is he not been prosecuted.

a.     Why does the NPA see it fit not to comply with a court order.  Your statement that the matter is before the courts is nauseating, because you know fully well that the NPA is in contempt of court.

3.     Mr Zuma’s charges – need I say more?

4.     Mzilikazi wa Afrika was bugged by the NIA and charged with fraud, without any basis – a clear abuse of the criminal justice system by the ANC.  The NPA went along with this trumped up prosecution.  Last week the wrongful arrest was settled with a payment of R100 000 by the Minster of Police – wasteful expenditure;

5.     Ms Breytenbach was suspended for insisting on prosecuting Mdluli.  Although the NPA denies this, the conduct of the NPA in the disciplinary hearing points directly to an organisation which does not want the matter to be concluded.  As an advocate, Ms Jiba ought to know that justice delayed is justice denied.

6.     I understand that Ms Jiba chose not to respond about questions surrounding her relationship with Mr Mdluli.

a.     Well, that is not good enough.  As the Acting head of the NPA, she should have answered the question by saying that she has a personal relationship with Mr Mdluli, who allegedly assisted her in getting her suspension lifted when she was suspended  for assisting the police in the trumped up investigation against Gerrie Nel initiated by the Police to apparently protect Mr Selebi.  She clearly came out of the wrong side of this since Mr Selebi was convicted.  In addition, she should have continued that in the investigation against Mdluli, she appointed a task team, which oversaw the prosecution or lack thereof, and they functioned independently of her since she had a conflict of interest.  That is what is expected of an impartial prosecutor, who acts without fear or favour. 

b.    She should have also taken the public into her confidence by stating for the record whether she received an instruction from Mr Mthethwa and Mr Zuma to drop the charges against Mr Mdluli.  Also, she should have also dealt with the allegation that the NPA was unlawfully instructed to hand the matter to the Inspector General for investigation and if she complied with such a request, under which law of the Republic, she chose to comply with this request.  Her silence on the above matters is deafening.

7.     On the dropping of fraud and corruption charges ANC politicians, Ms Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakuhlu, reasons for dropping the charges should have been divulged as any decision of the NPA is subject to the rule of law and allow the NDPP of Kwa-zulu Natal to use the discredited phrase that the reasons are confidential.

For Jiba to say that it is perception and let us leave at that, is breach of her duties and in dereliction of her duty.  As acting NPA head, she has duty to ensure that she is perceived to prosecute without fear or favour, not to argue that it is a perception that the NPA is not independent.  Allay our fears that criminal justice has not been politicised and you will gain our respect.  It is indeed ironic that the head of NPA is still acting after the Simelane saga and Mr Zuma is charged with appointing the head who may one day have to prosecute him once the review of the decision to drop charges against him has been finished.

 In the Companies Act, enacted by Parliament, where directors have a conflict of interest, they are obliged to recuse themselves.  Why should ordinary people be held to a higher standard that politicians?  Should Mr Zuma recuse in appointing the new head of the NPA or will we get another malleable NPA head?  You would think that people dealing with the public purse should be held to a higher standard.

To Ms Jiba, show your independence, release the transcript, as ordered by the Supreme Court to the DA and stop hiding behind the sub-judice rule.  This matter is before the courts, because the NPA is refusing to comply with the rule of law.  Talk about perceptions is nauseating.

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