Monday, December 14, 2009

Government is Boss of the NPA, Says Zuma

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must report to the government because some of its decisions have "implications", President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

"The NPA reports to government; it's not a thing flying in the sky on its own - unconnected - and there are decisions... that have implications and that's why we have a Department [of Justice]," Zuma said in an interview on Talk Radio 702.

He was responding to questions about the appointment of former Justice DG) Menzi Simelane, who has came under fire after a commission of inquiry found he tried to interfere in the NPA's work.

Simelane wrote a letter to the former chief prosecutor Vusi Pikoli instructing him not to proceed with the arrest and prosecution of ex top cop Jackie Selebi.

The letter was signed by the then Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla.

The Pretoria Bar Council is currently considering a complaint against Simelane's appointment as new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), directly related to the finding by the Ginwala Commission that he tried to interfere in the NPA's work.

But Zuma - who himself was once the subject of an NPA investigation - defended Simelane's appointment, saying it was not negotiable that the NPA reported to the government.

"Between the NPA and the Justice Ministry, there's been a running debate. That debate was there between [ex chief prosecutor Bulelani] Ngcuka and [Vusi] Pikoli when Pikoli was DG... who is in charge?

"That debate has been there all the time. It's not started with
Menzi."

Pikoli was DG of the Justice Department before he became chief prosecutor. But he was fired as chief prosecutor by ousted president Thabo Mbeki, in a move Pikoli has always said was related to the decision to charge Selebi with corruption.

Referring to the letter about Selebi's prosecution, Zuma said: "Menzi would not do a thing without the minister."

Opposition party Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille phoned in during the radio interview, saying she agreed with Zuma on that and questioned why her year-old complaint against Mabandla had not been considered.

De Lille said her complaint would test whether it was a criminal offence to interfere with the NPA.

"I totally agree with you... it is not correct... for us not to respond. It's wrong. I'm hoping Simelane would apply his mind," replied Zuma.

"It is an important test case and we must look at it."

Zuma added that he himself would never interfere in the NPA.

"I will never do it... there will never be an example to quote [in the media]... There's a wrong system we need to fix which other people abused," he said.

4 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Zuma will never interfere...where have I heard that one before? Let's see how long that lie lasts....

Anonymous said...

Zuma has no idea of how a government works. The NPA AND the government are servants of the people. They work for us, and are reponsible to us. This is typical Marxist "God-syndrome" that the NPA works for the state. Bollocks! Mr. Zuma, please tell us who you report to? The Politb├╝ro in Luthuli House? Or are you above them and report to no-one? Are you perhaps God, Mr Zuma?

Dachshund said...

Typical zot behaviour. Zuma is just another corrupt African "big man".

Expect to see SA go the same way as Zim. Black rule is no rule at all, there was never any reason to think SA would be the exception to that rule. They fuck up, big time, always.

Pensioner said...

And so the rot carries on, until there is nothing left to destroy or corrupt and SA will just dissapear into the rest of the African Continent.