South Africa 11.4.2018 12:22 pm

AfriForum lays criminal charges against NPA boss Abrahams and several staff

AfriForum's Monique Taute at Silverton Police Station to lay charges against NPA boss Shaun Abrahams. Picture: Jacques Nelles

AfriForum's Monique Taute at Silverton Police Station to lay charges against NPA boss Shaun Abrahams. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The organisation has previously laid other charges against Shaun Abrahams, though if he remains in office he would have to prosecute himself.

Civil rights organisation AfriForum has filed criminal charges of corruption, fraud, theft, extortion and forgery against Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and six other people.

They have previously laid charges against him for his decisions as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Monique Taute, head of AfriForum’s anti-corruption unit, said the allegations levelled at Abrahams this time around relate to an Audi A4 he used, a witness protection vehicle, allegedly for his own personal use. She said another allegation was about fraudulent travel claims that were submitted by four members of the NDPP.

Taute said these allegations should be enough reason for President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Abrahams as the NDPP, “as it is clear he is not a fit and proper person to hold office”.

Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams.

In her affidavit to the police, Taute said that on 9 March, AfriForum was provided with an anonymous letter that expounded on allegations of serious criminal conduct, which included allegations of murder, corruption, fraud, and contraventions of the Public Finance Management Act.

Taute said the allegations were levelled against Abrahams and senior offcials employed at the NPA’s Office for Witness Protection. The officials have been identified as follows in AfriForum’s affidavit: Ronald Samuel Borchedes, deputy director at head office; Okkert Olivier, regional head Potchefstroom; Rochelle Brandon, regional head Gauteng; Wayne Pretorius, deputy chief protector Gauteng; Dawood Adams, special director; and Somwya Davids, senior witness protection officer.

“In one allegation reference is held to a fraudulent travel claim by Borchedes, Olivier, Pretorius and Brandon, which they funded from covert funds. The claims submitted for authority to travel to Zeerust misrepresent the fact that they actually travelled to Cape Town and spent R97 000 of covert funds,” Taute said.

She said that it was further alleged the witness protection vehicle, an Audi A4, had been allocated to the NDPP but Abrahams used this for his personal benefit.

“The report received indicates that an investigation by the Integrity Management Unit (IMU) was done without any known results.

“I have established that the IMU is an internal department of the NPA and has no mandate to investigate allegations of criminality themselves,” Taute stated.

“A disturbing but clear inference drawn is that Abrahams protected the suspects because of his relationship with them and his involvement,” she added.

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