‘Let this be a lesson to the opposition’

2009-08-14 00:00

THE ANC in KZN welcomed the withdrawal of charges yesterday but said it was concerned that the National Prosecuting Authority embarked on the case “without having conducted proper investigations”.

In doing so, the NPA cast aspersions on Nkonyeni’s integrity and she has had to endure attacks from opposition parties and the media.

It was a “miscalculated action” that undermined the credibility and the integrity of the NPA, it said.

“We also believe that this case has served as a lesson to opposition parties that they should not rush to judgment and find people guilty on the bases of allegations levelled against them. The rights of a person to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise must be respected by all.”

DA caucus leader in the legislature, John Steenhuisen, expressed dissatisfaction following the news that fraud and corruption charges against Nkonyeni had been dropped “based on legal technicalities”.

“We will obviously be studying the reasons for this very carefully and will also seek assurance that the decision was made based on sound legal principles rather than political expediency,” said Steenhuisen

Steenhuisen said he did not believe that the ruling was necessarily in Nkonyeni’s best interests.

“There are serious allegations which remain unanswered and a cloud which still hangs over Nkonyeni’s head. While she has not been pronounced guilty, she has also not been declared innocent. … It is unsatisfactory that [people in the province] be kept hanging while waiting for the truth.”

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