Radebe praises NPA

The NPA has been without a leader for the last eight months.

FILE: Justice minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe once again lauded the efforts of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and emphasised that it's up to the courts to find criminals guilty.

Last week the minister came under fire when he said the amount of people in prisons was evidence enough that the NPA were doing a good job.

Speaking at the release of 42 names of people found guilty of fraud and corruption since last year, Radebe said he's satisfied with the NPA's track record.

"I am satisfied on the balance of evidence that the majority of cases the NPA brings to court to get convictions. On fraud and corruption more than 3000 in 2012 were found guilty by the courts."

NAMING AND SHAMING

Radebe also prepares to release the names of 3,000 more people convicted of fraud and corruption he's revealed that nearly 800 more are under investigation.

On Sunday the minister named and shamed a group of 42 people which included government officials and private individuals.

Radebe said on Monday the Anti-Corruption Task Team already secured total freezing orders worth more than R1 billion.

This includes a forfeiture order for R14.7 million brought against the former CEO of Land Bank Philemon Mohlahlane and controversial Gauteng Businessman Dan Mofokeng.

Radebe said forfeiture orders were granted against Mohlahlane and Mofokeng for the illegally transferred farm land from the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

"The farms were part of the land reform programme and were marked for transfer for the trust representing rural communities."

Radebe said they've already collected more than R100 million from the farms forfeited.

"The value of these farms frozen to date is R85 million."

He said while there are serious concerns about corruption in the public sector he's hopeful the release of these names will expose more fraudulent deals in the private sector.

Meanwhile, Radebe once again lauded the efforts of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and emphasised that it's up to the courts to find criminals guilty.

NPA AND SIU HEADS

Radebe last month said people should stop speculating who would be appointed to head the NPA and Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Earlier this year, it was reported that Magistrate Stanley Gumede would be named the new NPA boss, while Advocate Guido Penzhorn would take over at the SIU.

President Jacob Zuma is yet to announce who will take over these posts.

During his budget vote speech in Parliament, Radebe told Members of Parliament (MPs) that the president is giving due consideration to the appointments.

"We will discourage any speculation until these appointments have been made."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) tabled a bill to limit the president's powers when making such appointments.

DA MP Dene Smuts said, "We need to put the choice of the National Director of Public Prosecution in Parliament's hands. If the honourable president makes another inappropriate appointment, the DA will legally challenge the matter again."

In a written reply to Parliament, Zuma said there was no deadline to make the appointments.

'DA DELAYING PROCESS'

Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party (SACP) said a combination of opposition parties and insiders who leak information are to blame for Zuma's delay in appointing a new NPA head.

The NPA lost several high profile cases this year while it's been without a head for the last eight months.

SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said it's the DA who delayed the process by threatening legal action against Zuma's choice while insiders were also responsible.

"Once we allow insiders to think they can dictate the agenda of the state then we will have a situation where things are frustrated."

He admitted that there should be an explanation of what's happening.

"If he's unable to make appointments on the day he's promised he should give reasons why."

Last week social activist Zackie Achmat said Zuma and Radebe should be ashamed of the state of the justice system.