Criminal charges filed against NPA boss Shaun Abrahams

NPA head Shaun Abrahams. (Paul Herman, News4)
NPA head Shaun Abrahams. (Paul Herman, News4)

Johannesburg – Lobby group AfriForum and former head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal General Johan Booysen, who was suspended by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) deputy head Nomgcobo Jiba, on Friday filed criminal charges of perjury and defeating the ends of justice against NPA boss Shaun Abrahams.  

The charges were filed in Silverton police station in Pretoria, said Monique Taute of AfriForum's anti-corruption unit.

The organisation said the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria had found that in the case regarding Abrahams' withdrawal of the charges against Jiba, his version and that of regional head of the specialised commercial crimes unit Marshall Mokgathle, in their respective affidavits, had lacked integrity. 

Read: Jiba 'flouted every law' - Booysen

"The court also found that it had been Abrahams who had withdrawn the charges against Jiba at the recommendation of Mokgathle. 

"It was also the court's view that Abrahams and Mokgathle's versions had raised serious questions of credibility, and also that the explanation for the withdrawal that had been given by Abrahams and had been supported by Mokgathle was 'bizarre in the extreme'."

Taute said Abrahams was not a fit and proper person to hold office in the NPA.

NPA appeal

"AfriForum therefore appeals to President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Abrahams with immediate effect and to appoint a new NDPP (National Director Public Prosecutions) who will act without fear, favour or prejudice," she said.   

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said the NPA was appealing the judgment of the High Court in that respect.

In December 2017, the High Court in Pretoria set aside the decision by Abrahams to withdraw charges against Jiba.

Freedom Under Law's Nicole Fritz previously told News24 that the court had also ruled that former president Jacob Zuma should institute an inquiry into the conduct of Jiba and her colleague, Lawrence Mrwebi.

The two were also not allowed to enter the NPA offices in Pretoria.

Jiba is still on special leave from her position as deputy NDDP.

In August 2015, Abrahams withdrew charges of perjury and fraud against Jiba.

The charges related to her decision to prosecute Booysen on racketeering charges.

Zuma 'conflicted'

In 2016, Jiba and Mrwebi were struck off the roll of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa.

News24 reported at the time that this was over their handling of the case against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

However, Jiba and Mrwebi were granted leave to appeal the decision in January last year, and the following month, Zuma decided not to suspend her or to institute a commission of inquiry into her conduct.

In November 2017, AfriForum announced that it would institute legal action to privately prosecute Jiba on charges of fraud and perjury.

READ: AfriForum to prosecute Nomgcobo Jiba

In December, a full Bench of the North Gauteng High Court ruled that Abrahams must vacate his seat as NDPP.

It further ruled that it would not be just for former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana to be reinstated and that, due to his pending corruption case, Zuma was conflicted in appointing the NDPP.

The court said then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, now president, had two months to appoint a new head of the NPA.

The NPA and Zuma have both applied for leave to appeal that judgment.

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