NEWS & ANALYSIS

NPA's charges against Nxasana charges part of wider witch-hunt - James Selfe

DA CFE says Authority trying to settle scores with Nomgcobo Jiba's enemies

Nxasana charges the latest in a protracted witch-hunt

21 February 2016

The DA is concerned about reports in today’s City Press that charges have been laid against Mxolisi Nxasana which question whether the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shaun Abrahams, is nothing more than a puppet installed at the Head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). This for the sole purpose of settling political scores, no doubt, at the behest of NPA’s second-in-command, Nomgcobo Jiba. 

The sustained witch-hunt against current and former members of the NPA and its associated agencies is cause for great concern and does not bode well for the integrity of our prosecuting authority.

Reports today allege that the NPA has charged its former head, Adv Mxolisi Nxasana, with the harassment of an employee of the NPA based on allegations motivated by political revenge against a man who throughout his terms as NPA’s top prosecutor attempted to discharge his constitutional mandate too independently for Ms Jiba’s liking. In doing so, Adv Nxasana asked both the President and the Minister of Justice, Mike Masutha, to suspend Ms Jiba and make her the subject of a disciplinary inquiry into her conduct at the NPA to no avail.

This month alone, Ms Jiba through Adv Abrahams, has instituted charges against former NPA prosecutor turned DA MP, Adv Glynnis Breytenbach, for obstructing the course of justice. She has also instituted charges against former national Hawks Head, Anwa Dramat, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Hawks Head, Johan Booysen, for a seventh time and is likely to do the same against suspended Gauteng Hawks Head, Shadrack Sibiya. In all these instances she has failed dismally to make any of the charges stick as most of them have been thoroughly ventilated and set aside by various courts of law.

In fact the only person who has been severely slated in a multitude of courts is Ms Jiba herself.  This comes after the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) have both repeatedly found Ms Jiba guilty of dishonesty and unbecoming conduct with particular reference to the Spy Tapes saga and the baseless investigation into Booysen. 

The common thread through all these charges is that all of these individuals have vigorously attempted to do their work without fear, favour or prejudice to the political motivated disdain of Ms Jiba who has enjoyed a checkered career at the NPA marred in dishonesty, political interference and unlawful conduct.

The DA contends that this is in response to the DA’s review application requesting the Western Cape High Court to set aside President Zuma’s decision not to suspend and order a Commission of Inquiry into Ms Jiba, despite many calls to do so by the former NDPP, Mxolisi Nxasana. Her latest actions are exactly the reasons why she must be removed from the NPA and probed for her conduct. Failure to do so will see this pattern further develop to the detriment of our criminal justice system.

The DA strongly reaffirms its position that this is a witch-hunt to tarnish the reputation of all her political enemies whose conduct has been preoccupied with restoring the credibility of our criminal justice system. It is disappointing given that Adv Abrahams had the opportunity to fix the rot at the NPA but has instead chosen to continue the abuse of our prosecuting authority by subjecting it to endless politicisation.

If the President is serious about avoiding the appearance of impropriety in the discharge of justice and due process he must show leadership and suspend Ms Jiba, whose presence at the NPA will cast doubt over any high profile decision made while she has unfettered influence over the new NDPP, Adv Shaun Abrahams. As he persists in his failure to do what is required of him, the DA has asked the Court to do so in his place.

Statement issued by James Selfe MP, Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, 21 February 2016