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First on EWN: NPA boss was warned about Jiba

EWN has seen a legal opinion drafted by two prosecutors who believed Jiba's case should've gone ahead.

FILE. 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

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News can reveal that National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams authorised the withdrawal of criminal charges against Nomgcobo Jiba despite being warned that she was under police pressure to help protect politically connected people.

EWN has seen a legal opinion drafted in August by two prosecutors on the case, who believed it should go ahead.

But Abrahams appears to have disregarded that recommendation and instead relied on another legal opinion that the charges be dropped, which is now the subject of a court challenge by Freedom Under Law.

Jiba was facing fraud and perjury charges for allegedly unlawfully authorising racketeering charges against KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen.

Just days before the NPA withdrew criminal charges against Jiba, Abrahams was told in an internal memorandum that it had become clear his deputy was under pressure from police to prosecute Booysen.

At the time, Booysen was leading an investigation into Durban businessman Thoshan Panday, who is linked to several senior police officers and is a business partner of President Jacob Zuma's son Edward.

In the memo, prosecutors Jan Ferreira and Gerhard van Eeden warned Abrahams that Booysen was a vital witness against two politically connected suspects and an investigation had revealed there was a plot within the police to get rid of him.

The pair argued the decision taken to prosecute Jiba was sound in law and in fact and in line with legislation.

The NPA has declined to comment, saying that because Abrahams is a respondent in the Freedom Under Law matter, it would be irresponsible to do so.