Editorial: NPA’s bias is showing

Speaking of reinstating charges, the National Prosecuting Authority didn’t drag its heels in re-charging a fellow crime fighter – mysteriously, on charges that have already been thrown out of court, and that have been shown to be underpinned by scanty evidence and tainted by the suggestion that the person who brought them, the NPA’s Nomgcobo Jiba, was doing so in a dishonest manner.

Her actions in that case, indeed, should have made her principals see that she was unfit for the job – if that job was to prosecute crime, without fear or favour, and uphold the rule of law. The NPA’s present head, Shaun Abrahams, has decided to go ahead once more with the charges, despite the embarrassment Jiba suffered.

The person facing these recycled charges, suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks commander Johan Booysen, has fought back strongly and he can hardly be blamed for that. The tale of political manipulation and internecine warfare between different arms of the law (traceable back to Richard Mdluli, as so many such cases are) is covered in this edition of the Mail & Guardian.

Here, it can only be said that anyone who has followed this case, and the actions and inactions of the NPA generally over the past few years, is likely to sympathise with Booysen’s view that the NPA is obviously pursuing a political agenda by means of repeated legal manipulations.

This way of doing things hardly assures the public that the NPA is really our prime crime-fighting entity and not just a tool of a political faction.

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