Amigos case: DA merely seeks truth, says Mchunu

2013-08-05 00:00

THE gloves are off over the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) refusal to give the Democratic Alliance reasons why it withdrew charges against two ANC KwaZulu-Natal leaders.

The DA took the NPA to court after the KZN Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) refused on grounds of confidentiality to grant it access to information relating to the withdrawal of charges against Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and legislature speaker Peggy Nkonyeni.

Mabuyakhulu and the NPA’s acting KZN DPP Sophy Moipone Noko are opposing the DA’s application, while Nkonyeni is not.

The pair were among 23 people initially accused of fraud and corruption in the so-called “Amigos” trial, but their charges were later withdrawn.

In a replying affidavit filed with the Pietermaritzburg high court, DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said the release of the information could serve to restore the dignity and reputation of Mabuyakhulu , which “has suffered greatly”.

He denied Mabuyakhulu and Noko’s assertion that the DA’s application was political mudslinging and motivated by ulterior motives.

“It simply seeks the truth regarding the decision to withdraw charges against the third and fourth respondents, who occupy positions of considerable public authority and trust.”

In her earlier affidavit, Noko accused the DA of using the back door without first exhausting internal appeal procedures contained in the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

The DA was also requesting sensitive information that was part of an on-going trial, something which could jeopardise the successful prosecution of the remaining accused and the possible further prosecution of other individuals.

Moreover, the release of information to a third party could open her office to civil action, said Noko.

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