I was wrong to withdraw Zuma graft charges – Hofmeyr

I was wrong to withdraw Zuma graft charges – Hofmeyr

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr taking notes at the Mokgoro inquiry, 11 Fbrbuary 2019. Photo: Brenda Masilela / ANA

The inquiry heard that the decision not to prosecute Zuma in 2009 was taken by then head of the NPA, Mokotedi Mpshe, and Hofmeyr supported him.

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr today conceded he got it wrong when he supported a decision to withdraw corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma.

Hofmeyr was in the hot seat at the Mokgoro inquiry which is probing the fitness of two top suspended advocates, Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, to hold office.

He was facing questions regarding the withdrawal of charges Zuma, which was later found by the courts to be irrational.

Initially, Hofmeyr did not want to answer, saying it went beyond the scope of the inquiry.

Advocates Norman Arendse, who is representing Jiba, had argued that it was important for Hofmeyr to answer to criticism against the decision to withdraw the charges against Zuma.

The inquiry heard that the decision not to prosecute Zuma in 2009 was taken by the then head of the NPA, Mokotedi Mpshe, and Hofmeyr supported his decision.

“I put it to you that you and Mr Mpshe in particular played politics in this decision to drop charges against the former president,” said Arendse.

Hofmeyr denied that this was a political judgement.

“I strongly dispute this. I don’t think they were based on my political considerations. I never participated in party politics, I left the ANC after I was appointed in 1999,” said Hofmeyr.

African News Agency (ANA)

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