NPA probing SCA criticism of top official

2014-09-02 11:39
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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority is looking into the criticisms made by the Supreme Court of Appeal against a top official, it said on Tuesday.

"The NPA takes the judicial criticism very seriously and is of the view that as a constitutional institution disregarding of such criticism would be tantamount to undermining the rule of law, consequently eroding the effectiveness of the judiciary," it said in a statement.

"In the recent past, the NPA has reacted to the judicial criticism by taking the necessary action against those officials against whom the criticisms were directed."

The same would be done now, the NPA said.

The office of the national director of public prosecutions received an unprecedented tongue-lashing in the Zuma "spy tapes" order handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday.

The SCA said it recently, in another matter, criticised the NDPP's office for being "less than candid and forthcoming".

In its ruling it said: "In the present case, the then [acting] NDPP Ms [Nomgcobo] Jiba provided an 'opposing' affidavit in generalised, hearsay, and almost meaningless terms.

"Affidavits from people who had first-hand knowledge of the relevant facts were conspicuously absent.

"Furthermore, it is to be decried that an important constitutional institution such as the office of the NDPP is loath to take an independent view about confidentiality, or otherwise, of documents and other materials within its possession, particularly in the face of an order of this court."

The SCA ended its ruling by saying: "This conduct is not worthy of the office of the NDPP. Such conduct undermines the esteem in which the office of the NDPP ought to be held by the citizenry of this country."

The Democratic Alliance on Monday called on Justice Minister Michael Masutha to make the necessary recommendations to remove deputy NPA head Jiba from office following the ruling.

Read more on:    npa  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  michael masutha

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