Acting Hawks head blames NPA for delays in Vrede dairy farm case

Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata says that she can’t explain why the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) took so long to give the go-ahead for arrests.

The acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Yolisa Matakata addressing the media at the Tshedimosetso House on the 23rd February 2018 in Pretoria on 23 February 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/ EWN

CAPE TOWN - Acting Hawks head Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata says that she can’t explain why the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) took so long to give the go-ahead for arrests in the state capture probe into the Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm scandal.

She’s told Parliament’s police committee that she complained to former Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and there were a number of meetings with the prosecuting authority and its head Shaun Abrahams.

Matakata says the Hawks team completed its investigation and submitted its docket to the NPA in November last year but only got the green light to make arrests this month.

Matakata says the NPA hampered the Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm case coming to court by sitting on the docket for months.

“We were finished in November and gave [the docket] to them ... taking their time to finally take the matter to court, that is maybe hindering justice.”

Matakata says she reported the delay to Mbalula and it was also taken up repeatedly with the NPA.

“There was also an engagement with myself and the NPA and the NDPP (Shaun Abrahams) until we had a last meeting where we agreed these are the people who are going to be charged. Again there were delays on their side.”

MPs now want a joint meeting with Parliament’s justice committee to grill Abrahams about the reasons for the delay.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)