Mcebo Dlamini accuses 'politically tainted' former NPA boss Shaun Abrahams of rejecting his representations

Former National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams.
Former National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams.
Image: ALON SKUY

#FeesMustFall campaign leader Mcebo Dlamini says his representations were rejected by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) under the leadership of former boss Shaun Abrahams because the latter was "politically tainted".

"There is an application we intended bringing. That application revolves around the constitutionality or the lawfulness of the prosecution‚” said Dlamini’s counsel Advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi.

"The substance of the application is that there has been a violation of section 179 of the constitution by the prosecution."

This section reads: "There is a single national prosecuting authority in the republic‚ structured in terms of an act of parliament‚ and consisting of (a) a National Director of Public Prosecutions‚ who is the head of the prosecuting authority and is appointed by the president as head of the national executive; and (b) Directors of Public Prosecutions and prosecutors‚ as determined by an act of parliament. The prosecuting authority has the power to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the state‚ and to carry out any necessary functions incidental to instituting criminal proceedings.”

"The basis of that violation is that Shaun Abrahams had a meeting at Luthuli House... with high-ranking officials‚ including the current minister of justice [Michael Masutha]‚" said Ngcukaitobi. "One of the items that were discussed was Fees Must Fall.

“It is apparent... that his prosecution is politically motivated."

Ngcukaitobi said Dlamini attempted to make representations to the NPA to consider mediation or a settlement procedure‚ but he received a one-line letter saying his representations were rejected‚ without any explanation.

"My client would still like to make further representations to the current new leadership‚ which is not tainted by the political manipulation of the case. If that is not successful‚ they will head to the high court for a judicial review of the decision.

"The basis of that review is that the prosecution is politically motivated and that cannot result in a fair trial - and the reason to prosecute [must] be declared unlawful and set aside.

Ngcukaitobi added that it was not his intention to delay the trial.

Prosecutor Steven Rubin said the state intended to call 15 witnesses when the three-day trial starts from April 9 next year.

Dlamini faces a string of charges - including theft‚ assault‚ public violence and malicious damage to property - linked to student protests that erupted in October 2016.

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