15 February 2019

South Africa: #MokgoroInquiry - 'It Is Unlawful to Place a Prosecutor in a Jurisdiction Where They Have No Powers' - Hofmeyr

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Willie Hofmeyr is of the view that it is unlawful to place a prosecutor in a jurisdiction where they have no powers, he told the Mokgoro inquiry on Friday.

"Mr [Andrew] Chauke, for example, has no jurisdiction to be in charge or give instructions to prosecute in another province. In the [Johan] Booysen matter it should have only been the director of KwaZulu-Natal," he revealed during his cross-examination at the Mokgoro inquiry in Centurion on Friday.

The Mokgoro inquiry, headed by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, seeks to investigate the fitness of suspended deputy NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office.

Hofmeyr was referring to Jiba's decision-making and processes in dealing with high-profile matters in the National Prosecuting Authority.

He claimed that the suspended deputy NDPP decided to assign Chauke, who was based in Gauteng at the time, to a province where he had no jurisdiction in order to prosecute former Hawks head Booysen in KwaZulu-Natal on charges of racketeering.

"It is simply unlawful," he said.

Charges 'an attempt to remove Booysen from office'

Booysen was charged in August 2012 with managing and participating in an "enterprise" through a pattern of racketeering activity, News24 previously reported.

In addition, the former Hawks head was also accused of two murders, the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as defeating the ends of justice.

The State, however, later withdrew the charges against Booysen after Judge Trevor Gorven concluded in a ruling that the charges did not "meet even the barest minimum requirements".

Hofmeyr said he believed that Booysen was charged after he launched corruption investigations against two senior ANC officials in the province - Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakhulu."I submit that the charges laid against Booysen [were] an attempt to remove him from office, or at least ensure that a more pliable acting head would be appointed in his place who would close down the investigations," Hofmeyr previously told the inquiry.

Booysen previously submitted before the inquiry that Jiba used insufficient evidence to charge him.

Hofmeyr returned to the inquiry on Friday and furnished evidence leader advocate Nazreen Bawa with minutes for executive committee meetings relating to the Booysen matter that show that this was indeed the case.

In an earlier meeting the team reported that they had "nothing".

"The 'nothing' is in reference to evidence against Booysen," Hofmeyr said.

The inquiry continues.


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