Nkonyeni hits out at NPA

2012-07-27 00:00

THE speaker in the KZN Legislature, Peggy Nkonyeni, has accused National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials of “persistent” media leaks about the controversial “amigos” trial in which she is an accused.

Nkonyeni spoke out yesterday after a weekly newspaper approached her office claiming to be in possession of an affidavit from one of the witnesses in the case. The affidavit allegedly details her involvement in the case.

She said she had written to the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), the public protector and the minister of justice, complaining about the conduct of officials of the directorate.

Nkonyeni said the persistent media leaks were violating her constitutional right to a fair trial and reduced it to a trial by media.

This is her second letter of complaint. Last year, Nkonyeni’s lawyers wrote to the justice ministry after a senior NDPP official was quoted in a Sunday newspaper giving details of the case even before she had been officially charged.

Nkonyeni said the initial indiscretion was followed by a series of articles on her alleged involvement in the case, apparently leaked to the media by unnamed NDPP officials.

“I have been subjected to an enormous media onslaught, mostly emanating from the [office of the] NDPP and particularly [the] recently ‘demoted’ [acting] provincial director of public prosecutions, advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa. He is on record as discussing the merits of the case, even before we were formally charged, with members of the media,” said Nkonyeni.

She added that the articles had resurfaced recently following the reported removal of advocate Mlotshwa as acting provincial director of public prosecutions.

Nkonyeni said the articles citing unnamed sources in the public prosecutions directorate were suggesting that Mlotshwa had been removed because he refused to heed a call to drop charges against her.

“I believe that my rights to a fair trial have been violated and I request that you take the necessary steps to investigate the unprofessional conduct of the NPA in KwaZulu-Natal in relation to my complaint.”

Mlotshwa could not be reached for comment yesterday. His phone was off and he had not responded to messages left on his voicemail by the time of going to press.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mahaga said yesterday the authority had not yet received the second letter, but would deal with the matter upon its receipt. He said the NPA respected the rights of an accused.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela confirmed that she had received the complaint and would assess it first.

The “amigos” trial involves Nkonyeni and KZN MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu. The charges relate to allegedy corrupt tenders awarded for the hire and purchase of water purification plants supplied by Uruguay businessman Gaston Savoi. The case is known as the “amigos trial” because some of accused were allegedly treated to a trip to South America and addressed each other as “amigo” in emails.

The trial involves 16 accused is due to run from October 1 to December 14.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.