Jiba didn’t interfere, and then Booysen happened – Hofmeyr

Willie Hofmeyr during the memorial service of struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada at the Greek Orthodox Church on April 05, 2017 in Pretoria. Picture: Gallo Images

Willie Hofmeyr during the memorial service of struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada at the Greek Orthodox Church on April 05, 2017 in Pretoria. Picture: Gallo Images

The former head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit told the Mokgoro inquiry there had in his opinion been no political interference to drop charges against Zuma.

About 80 cases were being investigated by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in 2012, but none had resulted in prosecution.

That was according to former head of the AFU Willie Hofmeyr, who is now deputy national director of public prosecutions, on the stand under cross-examination at the Mokgoro inquiry into the fitness of suspended senior advocates Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba to hold office.

Hofmeyr conceded the head of the AFU had the authority to sign off on prosecutions which had not been withdrawn by Jiba, then acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority.

There had been no interference by Jiba, admitted Hofmeyr, until it came to the prosecution of the head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Johan Booysen.

Advocate Norman Arendse, acting for Jiba, also managed to elicit from Hofmeyr that Jiba had assisted, and not hindered, in securing access to the so-called “spy tapes”, related to corruption charges brought against Jacob Zuma in 2005.

Zuma is back in court on May 20 to answer various charges of racketeering and fraud.

Hofmeyr said there had been no political interference in the decision to drop charges against Zuma, as far as he was concerned.

In 2009, then acting head Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the charges against Zuma two weeks before the general elections.

The Mokgoro inquiry was established in terms of 12(6) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act 32 of 1998, and in relation to the Code of Conduct of Prosecutors. It is led by retired Constitutional Court judge Justice Yvonne Mokgoro and supported by panellists advocate Kgomotso Moroka and Thenjiwe Vilakazi.

The hearings are expected to end in March and a report will be submitted shortly thereafter.

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