Simelane slams critics

2009-12-09 09:42

Johannesburg - Chief prosecutor Menzi Simelane has scoffed at "armchair critics" opposed to transformation, in his first reported reaction to the controversy surrounding his appointment.

Simelane was responding to questions from The Star newspaper through National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

Simelane was "fully alive to the fact that any appointment by the government and, in this case the president, on high-profile positions is received negatively by armchair critics - especially those who are opposed to aggressive transformation in government institutions", Mhaga told The Star.

Simelane's "plans and strategies for the NPA will be seen through actions rather than words", he said.

Mhaga added that the NPA would "communicate to the public developments in the NPA under his [Simelane's] leadership soon".

Tutu comments

He would not be drawn into commenting on Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's call to President Jacob Zuma to reverse Simelane's appointment, which he described as an "aberration".

Tutu said a statutory commission, headed by senior ANC stalwart Frene Ginwala, deemed him unfit for the job.

Tutu was referring to the Ginwala commission of inquiry into whether Simelane's predecessor, Vusi Pikoli, was fit to hold office.

In her findings, Ginwala said it seemed Simelane had tried to interfere in the NPA decision to arrest ex-top cop Jackie Selebi for corruption.

She came to this conclusion after Simelane testified at the hearings.

But Justice Minister Jeff Radebe later said Simelane was never given the opportunity to respond to Ginwala's accusations.

The Pretoria Bar Council is currently investigating a complaint against Simelane, related to his appointed despite the Ginwala commission findings.

But Simelane maintained he "has not formally received any complaint" about his new posting, according to Mhaga.