Jub Jub prosecutor 'reassigned'

2010-03-26 11:25

Johannesburg - The chief state prosecutor presiding in the "Jub Jub" court case was not relieved of his duties, "he was reassigned", the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday.

"He was not relieved of his duties, he was re-assigned as per our restructuring," said spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

"The NPA is in a process of implementing a restructuring with an objective of improving our court work by reassigning senior prosecutors to do court work and so far this has happened in KwaZulu-Natal, north and south Gauteng."

He said the purpose was to ensure that courts had experienced, competent prosecutors to improve court statistics and deal with backlogs.

No interference

"This has nothing to do with the Jub Jub case and the National Director never interfered in that matter as we allowed prosecutors to deal with it as they deemed fit," explained Mhaga.

He was responding to a report in the Beeld newspaper that prosecutor Andre (Lampies) Lambrecht, 60, was relieved of his duties after he refused to execute the orders of NPA head Menzi Simelane.

The orders were that he should not contest bail for the musician Jub Jub and he was given the order three times, the publication said.

On Friday, Gladstone Maema, acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told Sapa the newspaper report was not a "correct reflection of what happened".

"He (Lambrecht) was not relieved of his duties. He was reassigned.

"The docket was given to me, and I looked through it. After reading it, I decided that this was not a matter where bail should be opposed. It had nothing to do with Mr Simelane.

"This decision was mine because it's the DPP that decides."

Lower courts in 'desperate need'

Maema said his duties were to only inform Simelane about the decision he had taken.

He explained that restructuring was needed because the lower courts were in desperate need of senior people.

"The bulk of the cases we are finalising are in the lower courts. We wanted to strengthen the lower courts by putting senior people there.

"I have re-assigned three other deputies to Protea (Magistrate's Court) with him (Lambrecht) to beef up the lower court because we don't only want experience in higher courts."

Last Friday, magistrate André Auret granted bail of R10 000 to hip hop artist Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and his co-accused Themba Tshabalala.

The two face murder charges after an alleged drag race resulted in the death of four schoolboys in Soweto.

The court case has been marred by violent angry protests by students and residents.