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NPA consults private counsel in Mrwebi case

Mrwebi was facing charges of defeating the ends of justice for withdrawing charges against Richard Mdluli.

FILE: Lawrence Mrwebi. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday said it consulted private counsel in the matter against special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi because of his seniority in the organisation as well as claims that the case against him amounted to abuse of power.

On Monday, the Pretoria Magistrates Court struck the case against him off the roll after the state asked for a postponement to consult a private advocate.

Mrwebi was facing charges of defeating the ends of justice for withdrawing charges against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

The NPA's Velekhaya Mgobhozi said National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana asked Minister of Justice Michael Masutha for permission to appoint senior counsel from outside of the NPA.

He said they required advice on legal issues pertaining to the case against Mrwebi and on how to deal with the matter going forward.

Mgobhozi said in the face of allegations of impartiality, which the NPA disputes, it also sought to be seen as impartial in the interests of justice.

He said prosecutors briefed advocates Barry Roux and Lindelani Sigogo from the Johannesburg Bar.

While the case has been struck off the roll, it's not the end of the matter because it can still be re-enrolled.

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