Government is NPA's boss - Zuma

2009-12-14 14:15

Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must report to the government because some of its decisions have "implications", President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

"The NPA reports to government; it's not a thing flying in the sky on its own - unconnected - and there are decisions... that have implications and that's why we have a department [of justice]," Zuma said in an interview on Talk Radio 702.

He was responding to questions about the appointment of former justice director-general (DG) Menzi Simelane, who has came under fire after a commission of inquiry found he tried to interfere in the NPA's work.

Simelane wrote a letter to the former chief prosecutor Vusi Pikoli instructing him not to proceed with the arrest and prosecution of ex top cop Jackie Selebi.

The letter was signed by the then justice minister Brigitte Mabandla.

The Pretoria Bar Council is currently considering a complaint against Simelane's appointment as new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), directly related to the finding by the Ginwala Commission that he tried to interfere in the NPA's work.

But Zuma - who himself was once the subject of an NPA investigation - defended Simelane's appointment, saying it was not negotiable that the NPA reported to the government.

"Between the NPA and the justice ministry, there's been a running debate. That debate was there between [ex chief prosecutor Bulelani] Ngcuka and [Vusi] Pikoli when Pikoli was DG... who is in charge?

'Menzi would not do a thing without the minister'

"That debate has been there all the time. It's not started with Menzi."

Pikoli was director-general of the justice department before he became chief prosecutor. But he was fired as chief prosecutor by ousted president Thabo Mbeki, in a move Pikoli has always said was related to the decision to charge Selebi with corruption.

Referring to the letter about Selebi's prosecution, Zuma said: "Menzi would not do a thing without the minister."

Opposition party leader Patricia de Lille phoned in during the radio interview, saying she agreed with Zuma on that and questioned why her year-old complaint against Mabandla had not been considered.

De Lille said her complaint would test whether it was a criminal offence to interfere with the NPA.

"I totally agree with you... it is not correct... for us not to respond. It's wrong. I'm hoping Simelane would apply his mind," replied Zuma.

"It is an important test case and we must look at it."

Zuma added that he himself would never interfere in the NPA.

"I will never do it... there will never be an example to quote [in the media]... There's a wrong system we need to fix which other people abused," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    npa  |  thabo mbeki  |  jacob zuma  |  vusi pikoli  |  menzi simelane  |  jackie selebi
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:37 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between Sable Road and the M5 Koeberg Interchange
  • Wednesday Newlands - 07:31 AM
    Road name: Newlands Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bowwood Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.