Jub Jub prosecutor fights back
Johannesburg - A Gauteng prosecutor will challenge his sudden removal from his post which he says may be linked to his refusal not to oppose bail in the Jub Jub "drag racing" case, his union representative said on Tuesday.
"We regard this as an unfair labour practice," said Public Servants Association spokesperson Manie de Clercq.
"We want him to be reinstated in his position."
Andre Lambrecht, a chief prosecutor in Gauteng, was a court manager, but was suddenly told he had do prosecutorial "floor work".
He was one of 14 prosecutors reassigned to other tasks.
De Clercq said the move coincided with his refusal not to oppose bail in hip hop artist Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye's dramatic bail application the week before last, which saw pupils rioting outside the Protea Magistrate's Court and threatening to kill him.
Maarohanye and co-accused Themba Tshabalala were charged following the deaths of four school pupils in an alleged drag racing accident.
Lambrecht was asked verbally not to oppose bail, but would not do so without receiving the request in writing, which he did not receive.
He said the move was completely unexpected, with no previous discussion, and his union planned to thrash out the matter, which they believe is a demotion in status, at a bargaining council.
However, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the move had nothing to do with the Jub Jub case.
"It is simply part of a restructuring process meant to ensure that we have the best, skilled and competent and experienced, prosecutors at all court levels," he said.
The salaries of the 14 prosecutors had not changed.
"These are reassignments, not demotions, as people will retain their salaries and ranks. It is aimed at ensuring skills transfer in the institution."
Those moved were in KwaZulu-Natal and in the high courts in Pretoria and Johannesburg.