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11 Dec 2008 14:40
Independent Democrats (ID) leader Patricia de Lille has laid a charge against former justice minister Brigitte Mabandla at Caledon Square police station in Cape Town, alleging that she interfered with the working of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“We in the Independent Democrats have laid this charge — based on the findings of the Ginwala commission,” De Lille said.
The ID said on Thursday that the National Prosecuting Authority Act says: “Subject to the Constitution and this Act, no organ of state, and no member or employee of an organ of state nor any other person shall improperly interfere with, hinder or obstruct the prosecuting authority or any member thereof in the exercise, carrying out or performance of its, his or her powers, duties and functions.”
The party added that if Mabandla, who is currently the minister of public enterprises, is found guilty of the charge against her, she faces stiff fines and a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
“The Ginwala commission referred to a letter signed by Mabandla and sent to former NPA head Vusi Pikoli, which instructed the latter to halt his prosecution of suspended police chief Jackie Selebi until the minister was convinced that there was enough evidence and information to arrest him,” De Lille said.
“On page 178 of her report, Ginwala says this instruction could represent a breach of the NPA Act, an allegation that should be urgently investigated by the NPA.
“The Independent Democrats want to teach the ANC and the government the importance of the Constitutional principle that we are all equal before the law.
“Many of the leaders in the ANC and government think that they are above the law. One of the key principles of our struggle against apartheid was to create a society where we are all equal before the law.”—I-Net Bridge
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