Abrahams, Zuma meeting creates perceptions of bias - De Vos

2016-10-24 15:03
NPA boss Shaun Abrahams (File)

NPA boss Shaun Abrahams (File) (File photo)

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Johannesburg - NPA head Shaun Abrahams had no business visiting the ANC’s offices for a meeting, as it created perceptions of bias and political interference, constitutional law expert Pierre De Vos argued on Monday.

The Sunday Times reported that Abrahams met President Jacob Zuma and three ministers at the ANC’s headquarters, on Monday, October 10, the day before he announced the decision to charge Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with fraud.

Abrahams said the meeting had nothing to do with Gordhan, the Sunday Times reported. He was there at Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s request, to discuss protests at universities.

De Vos tweeted that the National Director of Public Prosecutions should be independent and not holding discussions about political issues, including student protests, with the president or any minister.

“Abrahams had no business being at that meeting, either to discuss student protests or to discuss the charging of Gordhan,” he said.

He said section 33 of NPA Act does not allow the NDPP to furnish the justice minister with information regarding any case or decision.

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The act prohibits the NDPP from holding meetings and discussing how his office should respond to the ongoing fees must fall protests.

The minister and NDPP could however agree on policy guidelines which would guide every decision to prosecute.

De Vos raised concerns that Abrahams did not deny discussing the charging of Gordhan at the meeting. This was despite comment from NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku, who told the paper that Gordhan was not the subject of the meeting.

“You can discuss something at a meeting, even when that is not the subject of the meeting,” said De Vos.

Abrahams’s actions could bring his independence and ability to act impartially into question.

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Read more on:    npa  |  shaun abrahams  |  pravin gordhan  |  jacob zuma  |  judiciary

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