To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
29 Nov 2016 18:49
National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams was at the centre of a heated Parliament debate on Tuesday. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane told Parliament on Tuesday.
The EFF’s Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, meanwhile, called him a threat to the independence of the NPA.
Maimane was opening a debate meant to focus on the effect of the NPA’s decisions on the economy, when he instead focused on the politics.
This was in relation to the NPA’s decision to charge Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with fraud, before later withdrawing the charges against him.
The DA leader reflected on the past decade at the NPA, which has had six national heads in total.
The NPA had been used, Maimane said, by President Jacob Zuma to shield himself from the law.
“The position of national director of public prosecutions is meant to be a 10-year term, but over the past decade it has been reduced to a revolving door of deployed cadres.”
‘Abrahams must fall’Maimane said all NPA heads had vacated their positions because of Zuma.
“This was either because they weren’t prepared to do his bidding, or because it was so blatantly obvious they were being controlled that the courts had to pull the plug on them. Instead of fighting crime and corruption, this vital institution of our democracy has now become a key ally of the criminal syndicate dominant in the ANC,” he said.
They should not be fooled by Abrahams, Maimane said.
“He goes by ‘Shaun the Sheep’, but don’t let this fool you.
This man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
He called for the way in which the NPA head was hired and fired to be changed, as it currently left too much power in the hands of the president.
The most important thing, Mkhaliphi said, was the impact that the NPA’s decisions now had on democracy.
The EFF had already written to the bar council demanding that Abrahams be removed, she said.
“He must fall for taking political orders from Luthuli House and threatening the NPA’s independence.
‘Unbelievable inanity and stupidity’The president wanted to capture everything, Mkhaliphi said.
“Even himself, Mr Shaun Abrahams must fall, and he must fall with his father, Mr Zuma.”
United Democratic Movement chief whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa questioned what caused such an institution to behave with “unbelievable inanity and stupidity”.
The ANC insisted that they respected the independence of the NPA.
Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery accused the opposition of politicising the NPA.
He also raised concerns about the party allowing DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach to speak on the matter, as she “was an accused person”.
“It is appropriate that such a person is a shadow minister of justice, of all things?” the deputy minister said.
Breytenbach had an axe to grind with the NPA, Jeffery said. - News24
Read more from Thulani Gqirana
Create Account | Lost Your Password?