Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance – 11 July 2017
I have today written to President Jacob Zuma, calling on him to immediately suspend the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shaun Abrahams, in line with Section 12(6) of the NPA Act, pending an enquiry into his fitness to hold office.
Since his appointment in 2015, Abrahams has overseen the complete politicisation of the National Prosecuting Authority, whereby an entrenched culture of selective prosecution has seen looting and theft of public money on a scale never seen before.
Instead of ensuring the law applies equally to everyone, Abrahams has safeguarded certain individuals from prosecution and from facing the full might of the law. His complete silence and lack of action regarding clear acts of grand corruption and state capture by a small political elite – spearheaded by the Guptas – shows he is both unfit and unable to hold the office of NDPP.
Earlier this year, I laid an array of criminal charges against those who have captured our state and stolen public money, including Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, Ashu Chawla, Nazeem Howa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Des van Rooyen, Duduzane Zuma and Matshela Koko.
Since then, there has been no further action, investigation, or condemnation by Adv Abrahams nor his office. In any other functioning democracy, the allegations emanating from the leaked Gupta emails would be subject to immediate investigation. However, it appear Abrahams is hell-bent on protecting the corrupt and the connected.
We believe that our country cannot go on with a protector of criminals heading our prosecuting authority.
In addition to this, Abrahams has refused to take a decision on whether or not to prosecute President Zuma himself. In March 2014 – over 1200 days ago – I laid 8 charges of corruption against the President for his role in using the people’s money to build his Nkandla mansion. I received confirmation that the investigation into these charges “has been concluded”, and that “case docket was handed into the office of the NDPP Mr Shaun Abrahams on 21 August 2015, for a decision whether to prosecute, or not to prosecute.”
Since August 2015, this simple decision has been completely avoided. I have since written to Adv. Abrahams requesting a meeting on this matter. He flatly ignored my request.
Abrahams also instituted what were clearly politically motivated charges against former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, wiping billions of rands off of our economy in the process. Moreover, Abrahams’ very first act as NDPP was to drop charges against the compromised former acting NDPP, Nomgcobo Jiba, and to instead promote her. Jiba had amongst other things interfered in the Selebi prosecution and had asked the president to expunge the criminal record of her husband, Booker Nhantsi, who had stolen trust funds from clients at his legal practice.
Section 32 (1)(a) of the NPA Act states that a “member of the prosecuting authority shall serve impartially and exercise, carry out or perform his or her powers, duties and functions in good faith and without fear, favour or prejudice and subject only to the Constitution and the law”.
It is clear to anyone that Adv. Abrahams has failed this requirement – numerous times – and must be suspended pending a full parliamentary enquiry into his fitness to hold office in line with section 12(6) of the NPA Act.
I trust the President will act without delay in suspending Adv. Abrahams to restore the integrity of our prosecuting authority.
NPA RESPONDS TO THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE DA TODAY
The NPA has noted with dismay the unfounded allegation in a statement issued by the Democratic Alliance leader, Mr Mmusi Maimane. It is highly mischievous to assert that the National Director is biased or has taken no action in respect of the Nkandla matter. The National Director referred all matters relating to the Nkandla investigation to the acting head of SCCU, Advocate Malini Govender. Mr Maimane has been given updates with respect to the cases at every point when he has written to the NPA for such information.
Mr Maimane is highly disingenuous to assert that the NPA is not taking any action in respect of the “Spy Tapes Matter”, while fully aware that the matter is pending in Supreme Court of Appeal. There are important legal issues impacting on the work of the NPA that must be clarified by the SCA.
Advocate Govender advised the DA through their legal representatives, Minde Schapiro & Smith attorneys as recently as on the 3rd July 2017 that the DPCI has been requested to conduct further investigations in respect of the matter. They were further advised that a decision will be made once the additional information requested has been provided. It is only the NPA that can pronounce on issues relating to sufficiency of any evidence contained in a docket and therefore the assertion by the DA that the investigation was finalised in 2015 is not correct.
The National Director does not take prosecutorial decisions unless when requested to review the decision of a Director of Public Prosecution or Special Director in terms of section 179 (5) of the Constitution.
Contrary to the peddled narrative, the NPA achieved a remarkable overall 93,8% conviction rate in the past two years under the stewardship of Advocate Abrahams.