DA members storm out of Parly meeting

They accused the chairperson of protecting National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams.

The Parliament of South Africa. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has stormed out of a justice committee meeting in Parliament, accusing the chairperson of protecting National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams.

Abrahams has been presenting the NPA's annual report to the committee.

The drama unfolded after the DA's Werner Horne asked Abrahams how he could say his decision to appoint Nomgcobo Jiba as head of prosecutions was based solely on merit.

Jiba has come in for harsh criticism in at least two court judgments, with one by the Supreme Court of Appeal suggesting her conduct while acting NPA boss tainted the integrity of the NPA.

The DA wanted to know Abrahams hadn't waited until questions around Jiba's fitness to hold office had been answered.

Abrahams told the committee it would be irresponsible for him to comment.

"This matter is currently the subject of court proceedings in which I am the respondent. So I cannot comment on this matter."

In spite of protests from the DA and the ACDP, Chairperson Mathole Motshekga ended the discussion, saying the committee was not a tribunal where Jiba was on trial.

Horne and Glynnis Breytenbach, a former prosecutor at the NPA, then abruptly left the committee.