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NPA boss authorises 'bizarre' prosecution of dead person

The NPA says it would be charging former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen & his deceased colleague Neville Eva.

The new National Director of Public Prosecutions of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) advocate Shaun Abrahams at the NPA's head office in Pretoria on 7 July 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN
Shaun Abrahams,Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba,NPA Head Shaun Abrahams,Nomgcobo Jiba investigation,Johan Booysens
Local

PRETORIA – In what some legal experts have described as bizarre and a sign of incompetence, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams has authorised the racketeering prosecution of a dead person. 

The deceased is among five people including former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen, the NPA announced yesterday it would charge in terms of the Organised Crimes Act. 

The racketeering authorisation lists Booysen as accused number one, his co-accused at number two on the list is a captain Neville Eva.

This is the second time Booysen is facing this charge after the Durban High Court ruled in 2014 that the decision to institute the charge was irrational. 

However, Eva died in November 2012 as a result of an infection in his heart. 

The NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku said the inclusion of Eva’s name is deliberate because the charge is one of racketeering and reference will be made to the deceased when evidence is led. 

Eyewitness News spoke to four legal experts, including a prosecutor, who all agreed that it is irregular to authorise the prosecution of a dead person. 

A common question was how the state expected to secure the attendance of the accused at his trial. 

Booysen successfully had racketeering charges set aside in 2014 when a court found Abrahams’ deputy Nomgcobo Jiba’s decision to institute them was irrational.

Mfaku said Abrahams made the decision based on the strength of evidence and the belief that the case can be successfully prosecuted. 

“He considered all the evidence contained in the docket and nothing outside the docket. Therefore other considerations are really immaterial. So what is contained in the docket is in line the prosecutorial guidelines.”

Mfaku declined to say whether new evidence has emerged since Booysen successfully applied to the High Court two years ago to have the same charges withdrawn. 

The court found that the material Jiba relied on did not support her decision to prosecute.

The NPA has also dismissed claims of a political conspiracy against Booysen.

Booysen is central to a corruption case against politically connected businessman Thoshan Panday. 

Mfaku denied there’s any vendetta against Booysen. 

“We are aware of the conspiracy theories that are aimed at discrediting the NPA for upholding the Constitution, we really do not take cognisance of them. They will not deter the national director from discharging his responsibilities.”

In a legal opinion addressed to Abrahams in August last year, prosecutor Jan Ferreira stated that after considering the evidence against Booysen, it would be nearly impossible to convince a court that he’s guilty.

Meanwhile, Booysen has indicated he and the 27 Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit members will take Abrahams’s decision on review.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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