Recently retired KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Major-General Johan Booysen was grateful “some sanity had eventually prevailed” at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), following yesterday’s news that national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi had decided to withdraw the racketeering charges against him.
“And, that things are being viewed objectively and not with political eyes,” Booysen told The Citizen.
The racketeering charge was also simultaneously dropped against Booysen’s former subordinates in the former Cato Manor Serious and Violent Crimes Unit.
It was then acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba who, six years, 10 months, and 22 days ago, on August 17, 2012, authorised the racketeering charges after Booysen arrested Colonel Navin Madhoe, whom Booysen claimed tried to bribe him with more than R1 million in cash.
When Judge Trevor Gorven dismissed criminal charges against Booysen in 2014, he said Jiba’s conduct was arbitrary, unlawful, and unconstitutional.
Following repeated failed attempts to prosecute Booysen, former President Jacob Zuma got rid of former NDPP head Mxolisi Nxasana after he failed to disclose a 1985 murder charge for which he was acquitted.
When Shaun Abrahams took over as NDPP in February 2016, he reinstated the charges.
Following this, Booysen, and the other accused, brought high court applications to have the authorisations set aside.
“In the circumstances, the NDPP needed to decide what the NPA position will be in the litigation; this required that she satisfy herself as to the validity of the authorisations,” said NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke in a statement.
To this end, Makeke said, Batohi set up a panel comprised of two directors of public prosecutions, advocates Rodney de Kock and Ivy Thenga, deputy director of public prosecutions advocate Shareen Riley and senior state advocate Elijah Mamabolo.
“The latter two are part of the organised crime component of the NPA, with particular expertise in racketeering prosecutions,” said Makeke.
The panel said a proper case had not been made.