Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why are effective corruption busters being targeted? - Dene Smuts

Why are effective corruption busters being targeted? - Dene Smuts
Dene Smuts
12 February 2012

DA MP says being good at your job appears to be career limiting in NPA

Public deserves explanation on targeting of efficient corruption busters

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) protests in vain that "any expectation from the media and the public for the organisation to respond fully on inquiries (about the reasons for the threatened suspension of Adv. Glynnis Breytenbach) is unfair", as was reported this week.

In the normal course of events it would be proper to treat an internal disciplinary process as a confidential matter between employer and employee to protect both parties. But we have not forgotten how the NPA treated the former Head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU), where Adv. Breytenbach continues the fight against fraud and corruption.

In April 2010, at the precise time I revealed to the Justice Minister that Adv. Menzi Simelane was trying to disband Willie Hofmeyr's Asset Forfeiture Unit (ASU) by severing the connection between its Head and its prosecutors, the "retirement" of the Head of the SCCU was conveyed to the Public Servants Association (PSA), which published the NPA's communication. The NPA told the PSA that the SCCU was being restructured - decapitated - because Adv. Chris Jordaan was retiring.

Adv. Jordaan was not retiring, as I advised President Zuma on 12 May 2010 during the President's Vote. The President undertook in reply to halt all restructuring pending his performance agreements with Ministers. The "restructuring" has proceeded, and Adv. Jordaan, lo and behold, did retire.

It is our firm impression that efficient corruption busters are put under pressure, moved or moved right out of the NPA.

It is therefore not unfair that we, the media and the public, would like to know why Adv. Breytenbach is under threat of suspension.

Statement issued by Dene Smuts MP, DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, February 10 2012


Charges against Mdluli should be tested in court - Dene Smuts
Dene Smuts
12 February 2012

DA MP says allegations of conspiracy should have no bearing on NPA's decisions

Cloak and dagger political police plots should play no role in prosecutions

Representations made to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by former Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli have come into the possession of City Press and raise the question why the prosecuting authority should yet again succumb to political pressure instead of proceeding on evidence.

Mdluli's arguments against proceeding with prosecution are reported to rest on allegations of conspiracy driven by suspended Police Chief Bheki Cele and fabrication of evidence by the Hawks. Mdluli revealed an alleged political plot against President Zuma by then Commissioner Cele, Minister Tokyo Sexwale and others last year; he is also said to be in line to take over Cele's job once the inquiry into Cele's fitness for office following the office lease saga concludes.

Did Mdluli fraudulently use secret police funds to acquire a car or did he not? That is what Adv. Glynnis Breytenbach of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU) clearly believes should be decided by a court. Any cloak and dagger games being played out between Cele and Mdluli should have no bearing on the NPA's decisions whether to prosecute or not, and government's succession plans for the SAPS even less so. It is hardly appropriate to have a police chief against whom criminal charges remain unresolved because the cases against him are simply suspended.

Not one but two cases against Mdluli have been provisionally suspended - fraud, and murder. One suspended case might be an aberration but two point to trouble. Similarly, Adv. Breytenbach is the second prominent SCCU head to be targeted by their own organisation. As I indicated on 10 February, we are convinced that Adv. Chris Jordaan was forced out in 2010, and now Adv. Breytenbach is under pressure. The NPA cannot be a pawn in the ruling party's political games.

Statement issued by Dene Smuts MP, DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, February 12 2012

Feb 12 Sapa

A top specialised commercial crimes unit (SCCU) investigator is convinced she is being targeted for pushing ahead with an investigation into South Africa's suspended crime intelligence boss, City Press reported on Sunday.

Glynnis Breytenbach is investigating Richard Mdluli, who is accused of using secret police funds to buy cars.He is also being investigated for a 1999 murder.

Mdluli is the head of crime intelligence, but was suspended because of allegations against him.

Breytenbach was served with a notice of her suspension by the National Prosecuting Authority last week.

However, her lawyer has warned the NPA that any action against her would be a malicious attempt to influence prosecutorial decisions.

Democratic Alliance justice spokesperson Dene Smuts said she was convinced that Breytenbach, like former SCCU head Chris Jordaan, was doing her job too well, which was why she was being targeted. Jordaan retired in 2010 when the unit was restructured.

City Press reported that Mdluli had claimed the allegations against him were a conspiracy by police chief Bheki Cele, who has himself been suspended for alleged corruption. If Cele goes, Mdluli is tipped to replace him.

Smuts said the NPA could not be a pawn in the ANC's political games.

"Not one, but two cases against Mdluli have been provisionally suspended -- fraud and murder. One suspended case might be an aberration, but two point to trouble."

Congress of the People spokesperson Dennis Bloem said that if Cele and Mdluli had the best interests of the country's security at heart, they should quit crime fighting because their names were already in the mud.

"Cope believes the repute of the police force should not be undermined and that the country cannot afford to have security and intelligence agencies tainted by scandals that are politically motivated" he said. -- Sapa

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