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29 May 2013 11:39
Jeff Radebe. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)
Radebe made the statement when pressed by the media about the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) failure to heed the Supreme Court of Appeal's order to release the so-called Zuma spy tapes, and its decision to go to court to challenge the effective reinstatement of senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.
"I am satisfied that they are doing a good job. If we look at the number of people that our courts convict on a daily basis, if you look at the number of prisoners that are in our courts, there is a complaint that there is over-crowding of our prisons," he told journalists ahead of debate on his budget vote in the National Assembly.
"People don't volunteer to go to prison.
It is because we've got energetic prosecutors on all levels in our country who prosecute without fear or favour or prejudice."
Radebe became visibly irate when it was suggested that the argument was nonsensical because over-crowding was due in part to accused waiting for long periods for their cases to come to trial.
"The nonsense you are talking about is with you, not with the system," he retorted, ending the briefing.
Radebe declined to say whether the NPA would release the spy tapes if ordered to do so by the High Court in Pretoria.
"That matter is before our courts," he said.
The recordings formed the basis for a decision in 2009 by then acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe to drop corruption and fraud charges against President Jacob Zuma.
In March 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal gave the NPA 14 days to produce the documents. it allegedly gave them to Zuma's lawyer Michael Hulley.
Radebe said Zuma was still weighing the appointment of a new NPA head. Nomgcobo Jiba has been acting in the position since January 2011. – Sapa
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