Simelane fails to report to Parliament

2011-10-12 19:43

Cape Town - National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane infuriated MPs on Tuesday by not turning up to answer questions on the National Prosecuting Authority's annual report.

Simelane was notified of the meeting with Parliament's portfolio committee on justice on September 30, but cancelled on Tuesday because he was going abroad, the committee heard.

ANC MP John Jeffery said it was unacceptable that not only had Simelane failed to attend despite being given nearly a fortnight's notice, but that the prosecuting authority's chief financial officer was also absent.

"Twelve days isn't bad," he said.

Committee chairperson Luwellyn Landers said he shared these sentiments and allowed the meeting to continue only so as not to let the travel costs of Simelane's deputy, Nomgcobo Jiba, and the director general of justice, Nonkuleleko Sindane, go to waste.


"I must agree with Mr Jeffery. Regrettably this is not the first time. Maybe this is shows an attitude of 'well, there is no need for us to engage Parliament'," Landers said.

"If this is the attitude taken, it is in their interest to dispel it as soon as possible."

Simelane was said to be in Rwanda representing Justice Minister Jeff Radebe at an international conference on the death penalty.

Democratic Alliance MP Dene Smuts said sending Sindane to stand in for him at the committee briefing showed that Simelane did not see the NPA as an independent body, but as part of the justice ministry.

Pikoli saga

"This goes to the heart of the matter. It goes back all the way to the Vusi Pikoli saga... to Simelane's conceptualisation of his role as DG."

"The NPA is now back in the hands of the department."

The Ginwala inquiry into former NPA boss Pikoli's fitness for office suggested that Simelane, then director general of justice, possibly contravened the NPA Act by instructing Pikoli to abort the imminent arrest of former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Simelane's absence meant MPs could not get answers to their questions on the status of criminal investigations against Asset Forfeiture Unit head Willie Hofmeyr.

Jiba said she did not know.

"We expected that this would happen," Landers remarked.

It emerged in July that Simelane had referred to the police corruption allegations against Hofmeyr, also the head of the Special Investigating Unit, by billionaire tax evasion suspect Dave King.


This contributed to reports of tension between Simelane and Hofmeyr and prompted Radebe to meet with them to assess the situation.

Hofmeyr said on Wednesday that it seemed that Simelane's controversial plans to restructure specialised units within the NPA, including the AFU, to make them less autonomous appeared to be largely on hold.

The NPA received an unqualified audit for the first time in four years, but MPs had a barrage of questions on its annual report.

These included the authority's high vacancy rate, its increasing use of informal mediation, and the moratorium on sexual offences statistics.

Jeffery questioned the "pretty large" figure of 81 000 cases that were concluded through informal mediation, a practice Simelane promotes.

He said it should be regulated and such cases should not be reported as finalised, but as removed from the court roll because they were distorting the NPA's statistics.

  • letsee - 2011-10-12 19:48

    In his mind he is all powerful and above the law. This is the preferred status in South Africa and maybe the rest of Africa too.

      Met - 2011-10-13 07:24

      Arrogance +ignorance +incompetence +Zumas friend = Simelane

      onetickie - 2011-10-13 10:22

      He is probably holidaying at the closest 5* private hospital as do they all.

  • Sit-hole - 2011-10-12 19:56

    Wait Wait he's coming, African time. When he feels like it.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-10-12 19:59

    F8kin pathetic! The corrupt-incompetent comrade thinks he is Jacob!

  • Yar - 2011-10-12 20:21

    JZ - You were warned. You always take out people in influential places and replace them with your stooges. All part of a grand scheme so that the ANC party faithfull can steal everything in sight.

      Mallyg - 2011-10-13 09:50

      Fools usually surround themselves with fools, in order to make them appear brighter than they really are.

  • Mike_C - 2011-10-12 20:36

    "sending Sindane to stand in for him at the committee briefing showed that Simelane did not see the NPA as an independent body, but as part of the justice ministry". He's just confirmed every negative thing said about him at the time of his appointment.

  • StoneAngel - 2011-10-12 20:46

    "Simelane was said to be in Rwanda representing Justice Minister Jeff Radebe at an international conference on the death penalty." Well if this is the case and he comes back and has the death penalty introduced I am very happy that he missed the meeting!!!

      Sit-hole - 2011-10-12 20:56

      If that happens, I'll definitely consider voting him for president. (im a DA supporter)

      Donovan Jackson - 2011-10-12 21:43

      Don'[t be so gullible. It's an international conference of boozing and relaxing - which the rest of us call a holiday.

      Peacock - 2011-10-13 09:01

      How many people are in his entourage, how many family members did he take?. Did he charter a private A380.? What 8 star hotel is he staying in? Just wait for the bill to hit the tax payer now AND the cost will be justified !!!!!! It will be in the hand book and say he could - he will say " shut up, none of your business - go to jail, do not pass GO".

      TextOfReason - 2011-10-13 09:10

      You would trust this government with the ability to administer death? Be very careful what you wish for. Besides the death penalty is still in our law system, only it's been rendered practically useless because of other laws that protect the right to life.

      Nkalakatha - 2011-10-13 14:09

      Death penalty will NEVER come back to this country !! NEVER and NEVER and there is a BIG reason for that......

  • RickyC - 2011-10-12 21:09

    After watching how SAPS gave the portfolio committee the run around and did not answer any of their question properly, one wonders who reports to whom and who holds whom accountable, what does Menzi's actions show I wonder...

      Nkalakatha - 2011-10-13 14:13

      RickyC: It is a circus my friend let me tell you!! The politicians are blaming the senior employees and from the latter it goes all the way down until there is nobody left to blame !!And the band plays on and on and on........until the next portfolio sitting !!

  • James - 2011-10-13 02:07

    is it a bird, is it a plane, is it Simelane?, it's the middle finger

  • Kevin - 2011-10-13 06:03

    It seems very simple to me! Not even those in Parliament think that Government is important. He was notified of the meeting on 30 September and cancelled on Tuesday - that took him 11 days to decide to notify Parliament that he can't attend. When was he notified that he was going to Rwanda? By the way, doesn't the Justice Department have it's own representatives? Why does it have to be someone from the NPA? By their actions, these gentlemen make it clear that they are not competent. Why should we be paying their salaries.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-10-13 06:52

    Perhaps the report was written by someone else, and that Simelane simply doesn't know what is going on, and therefore is unable to answer questions. He then decides to duck abroad. To me it seems that there is no control over these guys taking trips abroad. All applications for overseas visits should be properly motivated and submitted to Parliament for approval, well ahead of time.

  • AndV - 2011-10-13 08:43

    Ag, the weak leaders don't care and he is their pal anyway. Waste money and time, everyone is doing it. The arrogance of these persons.....

  • PTJ - 2011-10-13 08:54

    This is an old trick and as obvious as daylight - If he excused himself earlier, they would've probably relegated the meeting before him going overseas. Now he's hoping things will blow over/evaporate/disappear by the time he gets back

  • Nkalakatha - 2011-10-13 14:04

    Small man syndrome=Simelane !! They must re-deploy him ASAP !! He is down-right arrogant !!

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