Downer: NPA supportive of Boeremag trial award

2014-11-17 19:50
Mxolisi Nxasana (Picture: City Press)

Mxolisi Nxasana (Picture: City Press)

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been very supportive towards four prosecutors awarded an international prize for their work on the Boeremag trial, prosecutor Billy Downer said on Monday.

This follows a report in the Beeld newspaper on Monday stating the prosecutors - Paul Fick, Dries van Rensburg, Pieter Luyt and Phillys Vorster - were not given permission to attend the awards ceremony in Dubai because they were white.

They were awarded the International Association of Prosecutors's (IAP) Special Achievement Award.

Downer is currently a member of the NPA's specialised commercial crime unit in Cape Town, within the office of the director of public prosecutions.

He is also a member of the IAP executive committee, and with Retha Meintjes nominated Fick, Van Rensburg, Luyt and Vorster for the award.

"The Beeld report does not reflect accurately what has happened," Downer said in an sms to Sapa.

"The NPA has been very supportive of the award, which Retha Meintjes and I nominated and the Society of State Advocates officially endorsed.

"As far as I know, the NPA is still attempting to arrange for Adv Vorster to attend, as she had registered in time."

Prospective attendees were also caught off guard when the Dubai hosts unexpectedly and without notice closed registrations, Downer said.

The IAP's website says of the award: "The Boeremag prosecution team investigated and prosecuted 24 accused standing trial on multiple charges including high treason, sabotage, murders, terrorism and other serious crimes which were perpetrated aiming to undermine the democracy and the rule of law."

Beeld's report claimed NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana and chief executive Karen van Rensburg were to attend the awards ceremony next week on behalf of the four prosecutors.

The award was expected to be presented on Sunday.

The official spokesperson of the NPA could not be reached for comment.

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