Simelane criticised over NPA meddling

Menzi Simelane. Pic. Robbie Tshabalala. 18/03/2010. © Sunday Times.
Menzi Simelane. Pic. Robbie Tshabalala. 18/03/2010. © Sunday Times.

NPA head Menzi Simelane was yesterday criticised by the legal fraternity, who alleged he was undermining the public credibility of the institution.

NPA head Menzi Simelane was yesterday criticised by the legal fraternity, who alleged he was undermining the public credibility of the institution.

Simelane, pictured, came under fire for redeploying some of the country's top advocates and disbanding the country's most successful asset forfeiture unit (AFU).

The unit - the core responsibility of which was to seize assets acquired from crime - had an 86 percent success rate since its inception in 1999, having confiscated assets worth more than R1 billion.

Yesterday South African Law Society chairperson Max Boqwana, said Simelane's action undermined the public credibility of the NPA.

"Nobody is saying there should not be changes, but he must ensure the manner in which they are implemented does not destroy the institution."

He said as head of the NPA he should be responsible for the strategic direction of the institution - but must trust prosecutors at the operational level.

Political analyst Prince Mashele said Simelane undermined the people's trust "in an institution that takes decisions about people's lives".

"If I were in his shoes I am sure I would be concerned because perceptions that determine people's trust in the institution."

Political analyst Steven Friedman agreed that Simelane's actions were undermining the public's trust in the NPA.

Simelane is accused of interfering in the prosecution process of the case against musician Molemo "Jub-Jub " Maarohanye. This after he allegedly instructed the prosecution team not to oppose bail.

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