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Inquiry hears Zuma halted Fraser prosecution due to 'national concerns'

Former head of the agency's domestic branch Gibson Njenje made the submission when presenting his evidence at the public hearings on Tuesday.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PRETORIA - The state capture commission of inquiry has heard how former President Jacob Zuma allegedly played a direct role in halting the prosecution of former State Security Agency (SSA) boss Arthur Fraser, citing national security concerns.

The former head of the agency's domestic branch Gibson Njenje made the submission when presenting his evidence at the public hearings on Tuesday.

Fraser was alleged to have committed fraud and corruption related to the establishment of the Principal-Agent Network Programme but Zuma's intervention meant he was never charged and the matter did not go to trial.

Njenje told the state capture commission that after an investigation spanning two years, they handed over a docket to the Special Investigating Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority, who then prepared to prosecute Fraser and others.

But then he received a call from then Minister Siyabonga Cwele: “He told me that we needed to stop the investigation and prosecution of Mr Fraser and others.”

Njenje said he wanted to know they should halt the case: “It’s the president’s decision that we stop. He said the president thinks that this was going to compromise his national security if we went ahead and prosecute. I told the minister we were dealing with criminality here, not national security.”

Fraser has publicly denied any wrongdoing.