The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has dismissed Sunday media reports about the NPA’s lack of action on the state capture investigation and says it intends to approach the Press Ombudsman about the report.
“The City Press front page article titled ‘Why NPA won’t act’, also published by the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport as well as Media24 Online today [Sunday] is misleading in the following respects,” NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said in a statement.
Firstly, the journalist who wrote the story did not speak to any of the prosecutors assigned to the NPA’s specialised commercial crime unit (SCCU) team appointed to “provide the requisite investigative guidance in respect of investigation into the state of capture report investigation and the subsequent highly publicised leaked emails”, he said.
Secondly, the NPA, in particular the prosecution team giving guidance to the Hawks investigators, had never raised any issues relating to legality in respect of the leaked emails with the management.
Thirdly, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams had never attended any Hawks management meeting. And finally, Abrahams did not brief security cluster ministers on the progress in respect of the state of capture investigations.
“His report is sensational and an attempt to discredit and malign the NPA and its leadership. We intend to take up the matter with the Press Watchdog (sic),” Nfaku said.
Earlier on Sunday, City Press reported that despite mounting calls for action on the #GuptaLeaks, prosecutors guiding the investigation into state capture believed the emails did not constitute evidence against President Jacob Zuma’s friends, the Guptas or any ministers and individuals implicated in the massive tranche of information.
City Press had learnt that three teams of prosecutors from the SCCU had been tasked with providing prosecutorial guidance to the police’s cybercrimes unit and the Hawks’ anti-corruption task team (ACTT).
“But two senior prosecutors, one of whom is playing a leading role in the probe, and a senior Hawks official, say they do not think the emails will be admitted into evidence because prosecutors and investigators believe they were stolen,” City Press reported.
NPA and Hawks sources told City Press that last week that Abrahams suggested at a Hawks management meeting that the three teams be disbanded and an “investigative directorate” be established to investigate the #GuptaLeaks. The sources also said Abrahams briefed security cluster ministers on the investigation’s progress, the newspaper reported.
“The attitude of senior prosecutors, led by acting SCCU head advocate Malini Govender, to the #GuptaLeaks comes in spite of the fact that a number of senior ANC insiders implicated in the leaked emails have confirmed their authenticity,” City Press reported.
– African News Agency (ANA)