Acting NPA boss was previously arrested for 'drunk driving' - but never faced charges

15 August 2018 - 13:57
By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Acting head of NPA Dr Silas Ramaite.
Image: Jeremy Glyn Acting head of NPA Dr Silas Ramaite.

Acting national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Dr Silas Ramaite was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence following a car crash seven years ago.

Details about the incident have resurfaced following his appointment to the acting position.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has just shy of 90 days to make announce a permanent replacement for Shaun Abrahams‚ who was removed from the post in the wake of a Constitutional Court ruling that former president Jacob Zuma was wrong to remove Mxolisi Nxasana from the post.

Ramaite was arrested near Louis Trichardt‚ Limpopo‚ in June 2011 after a collision between his Jaguar and a bakkie. He was‚ at the time‚ one of four deputies of then NDPP director Menzi Simelane.

Police told the Sowetan newspaper at the time that no breathalyser test was performed at the scene‚ but claimed that they could tell he was inebriated because of his wobbling.

Ramaite‚ who faced charges of reckless and negligent driving‚ and driving under the influence‚ spent the night in jail. He appeared in the Louis Trichardt Magistrate’s Court and was released on R1 000 bail.

Blood samples were taken and sent for testing.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told the publication on Wednesday that the charge was subsequently dropped.

“A Senior Public Prosecutor in Pretoria declined to prosecute the matter on the basis that there were no prospects of a successful prosecution‚” he said.

The charges were dropped in 2013‚ he said.

Ramaite’s has also previously been in the spotlight after he stood by former NDPP Bulelani Ngcuka’s decision not to prosecute former president Jacob Zuma on bribery charges related to the arms deal.

“We made that decision as a collective in the NPA‚ and we stand by it‚” he was quoted as saying at the time.