Radebe to meet Simelane, Hofmeyr
Johannesburg - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe will meet NPA boss Menzi Simelane and SIU head Willie Hofmeyr to get to the bottom of apparent tensions between them, Radebe's spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
"The minister will seek to understand what the underlying reasons are for the apparent tensions between the two heads," said Tlali Tlali, after the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed it had referred an allegation of corruption made against Hofmeyr to the police.
Special Investigating Unit (SIU) chief Hofmeyr is also head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU). The latest referral is the second allegation Hofmeyr faces.
The allegation was made by businessman Dave King and reportedly relates to a request by the AFU that the billionaire withdraw complaints against the unit as a part of a plea deal on a myriad of charges against him, including tax evasion.
Public confidence in NPA
The first graft claim against Hofmeyr was made by a member of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, who alleged the misappropriation of SIU funds and the alleged flouting of supply chain and procurement procedures in the awarding of a tender to refurbish the unit's offices in Pretoria.
A Sunday Times report quoted two unnamed sources as suggesting that the moves were to close the units down, following the demise of the NPA's investigative unit the Scorpions.
Tlali said that once all the issues had been canvassed, Radebe would provide the "necessary guidance", because it was important to have the NPA focused, given its critical role in the criminal justice system.
"Staff morale cannot be neglected and public confidence in the NPA's ability to focus on and discharge its obligations remains paramount," said Tlali.
Hofmeyr wanted an independent investigation, and even though he did not think he had done anything wrong, he did not mind the police investigating him.
The Sunday Times also reported that Simelane launched a probe into AFU KwaZulu-Natal head Knorx Molelle, involved in tracking down assets in the Intaka fraud allegation case; appointed inexperienced prosecutors to the Intaka case - which involves ANC politicians John Block, Mike Mabuyakhulu and Peggy Nkonyeni; and delayed the execution of arrest warrants in the case.
The latter move apparently infuriated investigators from the police's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, known as the Hawks.