Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has written to President Jacob Zuma, asking that Shaun Abrahams be removed from his post as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), citing bias and inaction surrounding the charges against Zuma and the Guptas.
“Since his appointment in 2015, Abrahams has overseen the complete politicisation of the National Prosecuting Authority, whereby an entrenched culture of selective prosecution has seen looting and theft of public money on a scale never seen before,” said Maimane in a statement released on Tuesday.
“Instead of ensuring the law applies equally to everyone, Abrahams has safeguarded certain individuals from prosecution and from facing the full might of the law. His complete silence and lack of action regarding clear acts of grand corruption and state capture by a small political elite – spearheaded by the Guptas – shows he is both unfit and unable to hold the office of NDPP.”
Maimane also complained that it had been more than 1 200 days since he had laid eight charges of corruption against Zuma, relating to Nkandla.
No decision on whether or not to prosecute had been forthcoming, Maimane said, even though he had received confirmation that the investigation “has been concluded” and that the “case docket was handed into the office of the NDPP Mr Shaun Abrahams on 21 August 2015, for a decision whether to prosecute, or not to prosecute”.
Maimane further states that Abrahams instituted “what were clearly politically motivated charges”, against former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
“Moreover, Abrahams’ very first act as NDPP was to drop charges against the compromised former acting NDPP, Nomgcobo Jiba, and to instead promote her.
“Jiba had, amongst other things, interfered in the Jackie Selebi prosecution and had asked the president to expunge the criminal record of her husband, Booker Nhantsi, who had stolen trust funds from clients at his legal practice.”
Maimane pointed out that the NPA Act requires a member of the prosecuting authority to act impartially.
“It is clear to anyone that Adv Abrahams has failed this requirement – numerous times – and must be suspended pending a full parliamentary enquiry into his fitness to hold office in line with section 12(6) of the NPA Act,” said Maimane.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said he did not want to be drawn into a debate in the media about allegations of bias against Abrahams.
“Tell Maimane he is a parliamentarian, when he wants to know the status of a case, he knows which process to follow.”
Mfaku said the DA often wrote to the NPA to enquire about matters, including parliamentary questions, and that they always responded.
“We are not politicians,” said Mfaku.
“As an institution, we always follow the rule of law.”