Parliament agrees to DA’s request to debate the politicisation of the NPA
17 November 2016
The Democratic Alliance (DA) can confirm Parliament’s decision to accede to our request for a debate on the politicisation of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). After writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, and arguing for the urgency of this matter, the Chief Whip’s Forum and National Assembly Programme Committee (NAPC) agreed that the debate will take place on Tuesday, 29 November 2016.
President Zuma’s letter to Adv Shaun Abrahams, requesting him to provide reasons as to why he should not be suspended from his position as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), was welcomed by the DA, as we had previously called for Abrahams to be suspended and wrote to the President to take this very action.
Abrahams’s tenure has been amateurish at best and deeply tainted by political witch-hunts, when he should have been concerning himself with more pressing matters, such as the 783 charges of fraud and corruption against President Zuma.
Instead, with Abrahams at the helm, the independence and credibility of the entire NPA has been brought even further into disrepute.
Abrahams is desperately trying to salvage some credibility before being shown the door, as was revealed in his recent correspondence with Hawks Head, Berning Ntlemeza.
The fact that he cannot effectively manage his relationship with the head of the Hawks only goes to show how inexperienced and unfit he is. We would advise him to focus his attention on resolving cases such as those against the President, if he is to leave office with an ounce of credibility.
The debate on the politicisation of the NPA comes at a critical time, when this Authority is being used as a political hit squad against those who push against the project of State Capture and dismantle the work of President Jacob Zuma’s criminal network.
The NPA has been used to protect President Zuma from facing a court of law and answering for his 783 counts of corruption, money laundering and corruption. In this regard we maintain that there is no reason why the charges should not be reinstated.
It is important that we work to restore the integrity and independence of the NPA, and it is for this reason that the DA is preparing a Private Member’s Bill (PMB), which will democratise the appointment of the NDPP.
Section 179 of the Constitution currently provides for the NDPP to be appointed solely by the President. Our PMB requires that the President’s decision be informed by a resolution of the National Assembly, passed with a supporting vote of at least 60% of the Members of the National Assembly.
In the interest and stability of the criminal justice system, we must do all we can to ensure that whomever holds the office of the NDPP is fit and proper and is guided only by the laws of the land, not by the whim of politicians.
Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice, 17 November 2016