Zuma's ANC hell-bent on destroying Hawks - Breytenbach

2015-01-21 19:06
Glynnis Breytenbach (File: Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (File: Beeld)

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Cape Town - Prosecutor-turned DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach on Wednesday said the allegations that led to Hawks boss Anwa Dramat's suspension were baseless.

"It is a nothing, it is just a made-up thing," she told the Cape Town Press Club on the allegations that Dramat was involved in the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean citizens.

Breytenbach said these were "as old as the hills" and stressed that, she understood, Dramat had been cleared by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate before he was suspended late last year.

She said his suspension had made it clear the Zuma administration was "hell-bent on destroying" both the elite anti-corruption unit and the investigative capacity of the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

"What is currently going on at the revenue services and the DPCI, the Hawks, are just two other critical state institutions that [President Jacob] Zuma's ANC are now helping destroy."

Breytenbach said Dramat was suspended after he allowed his staff to pursue their probe into former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and called for sensitive matters, including ongoing investigations into over-spending on Zuma's Nkandla home, to be centralised in his office.

She went on to suggest that Sars's anti-corruption head Clifford Collins was charged because he turned his attention to probes that made Zuma uncomfortable.

"These include the investigation into the tobacco industry - to which the president has connections by way of his nephew and his cousin - and the president's own tax bill and the tax bill of the ANC.

"Having taken out the main players those who are left behind have no appetite for this kind of investigation."

Breytenbach noted that Dramat also chaired the state's Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT), and Collins had been deputy chairperson.

"So the result is this: The Hawks are destroyed, Sars is broken and the ACTT is conveniently rendered ineffective. There is not much left to break."

'Investigations came too close to Zuma'

Earlier this week, DA leader Helen Zille suggested Dramat had been suspended because "his forensic investigations came too close to Zuma" - but conceded it was a complex case.

Breytenbach left the National Prosecuting Authority to become a politician after she successfully opposed disciplinary charges she believes were motivated by her opposition to the withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli.

She told the press club she believed "political interference has a death grip on our prosecutorial independence" and was evidenced by the appointment of top officials at the NPA who sought to protect the president and his allies from scrutiny.

Asked whether she believed the courts had remained exempt from interference, she said she believed Zuma would not stop short of trying to influence judges.

"Don't think that he has not been tapping gently at the door... he certainly has. He just hasn't had the success he hoped he would have."

She said the DA would reintroduce a constitutional amendment bill that proposes changes to Section 179, which governs the appointment of the national director of public prosecutions, to temper the president's power in this regard.

Read more on:    da  |  sars  |  hawks  |  jacob zuma  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  anwa dramat  |  cape town  |  politics

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