NPA head to Hawks boss: Don't tell me what to do

An angry exchange between NPA head Shaun Abrahams and Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza was revealed in court documents on Tuesday.

NPA director Shaun Abrahams in Parliament. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams has told Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza to back off and refrain from telling him when to prosecute cases and when charges will be withdrawn.

An angry exchange of letters between the two over the prosecution of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was revealed in court documents on Tuesday.

The letters are included in Abrahams’s response to a court application brought by civil society groups Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation to have him suspended as National Director of Public Prosecutions.

In a letter to Ntlemeza sent on 8 November, Abrahams warns the Hawks head that his mandate does not allow him to decide when charges will be withdrawn.

He urges him to refrain from such conduct or face serious repercussions.

The heated exchanged of letters between the head of the elite crime fighting unit and the country’s top prosecutor reveal the power struggle over the prosecution and withdrawal of charges against Gordhan.

Just one day before Abrahams announced the withdrawal of charges, Ntlemeza accused him of not acting in good faith and making the decision based on the noise made by the media and civil society.

In his detailed response, Abrahams hits back and says he takes umbrage at the allegations he did not act in good faith and sarcastically asks why the investigators never uncovered a crucial affidavit which sank the state’s case.

Read the NDPP's answering affidavit in the application to have him suspended:

NDPP Answering Aff by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)