DA files papers against NPA

2013-05-06 20:01
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Durban - The provincial DA on Monday filed papers in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg in a bid to find out why charges of fraud and racketeering were dropped against two senior ANC politicians.

Democratic Alliance provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said the party was not convinced by the National Prosecuting Authority's reasons for withdrawing charges against KwaZulu-Natal legislature Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni and Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.

In August, provincial director of public prosecutions, advocate Moipone Noko, announced the charges were being withdrawn because of insufficient evidence.

In November the charges were formally withdrawn in the Durban High Court against six people, including Nkonyeni and Mabuyakhulu. The six were linked to the sale of water purification plants to the KwaZulu-Natal health department, allegedly at inflated prices.

Initially 25 people were implicated in the so-called "amigos" corruption case. Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi was one of the accused.

Savoi's company, Intaka, allegedly paid bribes to ensure a contract to supply water purifiers and oxygen generators to hospitals, at inflated prices, went its way.

Mchunu said people who held high positions in public office were accountable to the public.

"The result of the National Prosecuting Authority's decision is that neither Nkonyeni nor Mabuyakhulu have been held to account," he said.

"Instead they continue to hold high office, while several of their co-accused still face a trial. The records of [this] decision are very much in the interest of the KwaZulu-Natal public."

Mchunu said the decision to drop charges was taken two weeks after Noko was appointed provincial NPA head, which raised questions about whether her appointment was political.

DA member of the provincial legislature, Johann Krog, said the decision to withdraw the charges was an administrative one which legally required sufficient reasons.

"If you don't supply the reason then clearly the first inference is that you don't have proper reasons," he said.

Mchunu said that last year the DA submitted an application, under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, to the NPA, asking for the record of the decision to drop the charges.

This was rejected in November.

"The DA refutes the NPA's explanation that the application was refused on the basis that the records contain representations confidential in nature," Mchunu said.

The NPA has 15 days to file answering affidavits.

Provincial NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said she was not in a position to comment, as the NPA had not seen the papers.

"Nothing has been brought to our attention as yet," she said.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  gaston savoi  |  mike mabuyakhulu  |  peggy nkonyeni  |  sizwe mchunu  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics

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