Charges not withdrawn, case struck off

THE ARTICLE by Pierre de Vos, titled Conviction puts focus on Mbeki, in Sowetan on July 5, refers. De Vos writes that Menzi Simelane has dropped all charges against Mulangi Mphego and proceeds to ask: "Why was this done? Who is being protected?"

THE ARTICLE by Pierre de Vos, titled Conviction puts focus on Mbeki, in Sowetan on July 5, refers. De Vos writes that Menzi Simelane has dropped all charges against Mulangi Mphego and proceeds to ask: "Why was this done? Who is being protected?"

The NPA finds these inaccurate statements both disturbing and misleading, especially from a person purported to be a legal expert.

The background to the case against Mphego is that he made representations to the NDPP for a permanent stay of prosecution, which is under consideration. He has launched the same application to the Randburg magistrate's court.

He filed his papers and the state was expected to respond by February 9 2010, which it could not.

When the case was in court again on May 7 2010, the state applied for a postponement so as to be afforded an opportunity to file responding affidavits to the application.

The court refused the state's request and the matter was struck off the roll in terms of section 342A of the Criminal Procedure Act. The implication of this was that as soon as the state would be ready to proceed with the case, the prosecutors would have to obtain authorisation from the DPP: South Gauteng, to have the matter reinstated.

It is therefore incorrect to say that the national director has withdrawn the charges against Mphego, as the case was struck off the roll by the presiding officer.

The NPA expresses the hope that De Vos will in future confirm the relevant facts before making such inaccurate statements.

Mthunzi Mhaga, NPA spokesperson

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