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Parliamentary committee wants review of decisions by departed NPA provincial head Moipone Noko

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
Corruption cases former NPA North West head Moipone Noko declined to prosecute should be reviewed, says a parliamentary committee. Stock photo.
Corruption cases former NPA North West head Moipone Noko declined to prosecute should be reviewed, says a parliamentary committee. Stock photo.
Image: Allan Swart/123RF

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been asked to review some of the corruption cases its former North West head Moipone Noko declined to prosecute.

“All the cases that were declined by the NPA must be reviewed especially those that were done by the previous head of the NPA who has just resigned,” said China Dodovu, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces' ad hoc committee on the section 100 Intervention in the North West.

“They must be reviewed because in your presentation you didn't tell us how many were withdrawn or were not prosecuted in the way they were supposed to be prosecuted and we think that there must be a review of all those particular cases.”

Dodovu said this was in the interest of justice.

TimesLIVE tried several times to contact Dodovu to elaborate on his request but he was not available. It is unclear whether Dodovu’s call does not cross a line between the legislature and an independent NPA.

Noko confirmed her resignation last week to the Daily Maverick. The publication reported that Noko had left her KwaZulu-Natal post in 2019 after a year at the helm of prosecutions in the province and was shifted to North West.

During her time in KwaZulu-Natal she endured severe criticism for dropping charges against high-ranking politicians and politically connected people — most notably Umhlanga businessman Thoshan Panday and senior police officers in the Fifa 2010 World Cup graft scandal, according to the Daily Maverick.

On Monday, the ad hoc committee was briefed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) Hawks, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and NPA on the progress made investigating corruption and crimes which led to the national government putting the provincial government into administration.

The NPA said 51 cases were referred to it that related to the intervention.

Advocate Lebogang Baloyi, special director of the NPA's special commercial crimes unit, said of the cases, 16 were in court while 13 were awaiting a decision by the NPA. Nine were under investigation, two were yet to be enrolled and 16 were finalised with five convictions and an acquittal.

Baloyi said the money involved in the cases was almost R2.4bn.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit had obtained a R80m preservation order but the order was subject to a pending forfeiture application in the high court at Mmabatho. A R454,000 confiscation order was granted by the magistrate’s court in Vryburg.

The cases range from issuing fraudulent car licence discs to municipal managers who allegedly entered into fraudulent contracts to scam the municipalities they worked for.

The most prominent of the cases involved former head of the provincial department of health Thabo Lekalakala who allegedly signed a service level agreement with Cureva / Mediosa without after tender procedures.

The NPA also alleged that Lekalakala further allowed an upfront payment of R30m to be paid to the service provider without rendering any services. The SIU said due to the action it was taking against Lekalakala in his personal capacity, the Special Tribunal had told the Government Employees Pension Fund not to pay his entire pension benefit.