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Sun Nov 23 16:31:37 CAT 2014

Simelane out of the NPA

GRAEME HOSKEN | 05 December, 2012 00:43
Menzi Simelane
Image by: Vathiswa Ruselo

Disgraced former national director of public prosecutions Menzi Simelane has been quietly removed from the National Prosecuting Authority and stripped of his membership of the Johannesburg Bar.

The Johannesburg Bar met last night to discuss the finalisation of charges against Simelane.

His appointment as NPA boss was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.

His testimony at an inquiry into the fitness to hold office of his predecessor, Vusi Pikoli, was deemed disreputable.

Simelane was not expected to attend last night's meeting of the bar, at which, according to the bar's chairman, Modise Khoza, members Mike Hellens and Dumisa Ntsebeza would speak.

Hellens is the prosecutor in the matter and Ntsebeza is the chairman of the bar's professional committee.

Simelane was replaced by acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba.

The Constitutional Court's ruling followed the findings of the 2008 Ginwala Commission of Inquiry.

The head of the commission, Frene Ginwala, expressed her displeasure with Simelane's evidence, stating that his testimony was "inaccurate ... without basis in fact and law".

President Jacob Zuma has appeared reluctant to announce Simelane' s dismissal, or to name his successor.

The National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed that Simelane is no longer on its payroll.

NPA spokesman Bulelwa Makeke yesterday said: "He no longer works for the NPA - in any capacity."

She said a permanent appointment had yet to be made.

Makeke referred all questions about Simelane's contract, successor and contract termination payout to The Presidency and the Justice Department.

Simelane could be paid millions of rands to terminate his contract.

Justice Department spokesman, Mthunzi Mhaga said: "Simelane's contractual issue is being addressed. Processes are currently under way to bring it to finality."

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj failed to respond to questions. Simelane, speaking through his father, Bheki, refused to answer questions.

A Johannesburg Bar member said that though Simelane was no longer a member of the bar, "this does not mean that he will escape the disciplinary proceedings".

He described the charges Simelane is facing as of a serious nature.

"They come from allegations that he interfered in the independence of the national director of public prosecutions. If found guilty, he faces disbarment," he said.

Khoza said those at the meeting would hear from Ntsebeza where the matter stood and when proceedings would begin.

"Advocate Hellens will brief members on the state of the charge sheet," he said.

Simelane, who was placed on special leave by Zuma, was appointed the NPA's head in 2009 despite Ginwala's comments about his conduct.

The Constitutional Court found the reasons Justice Minister Jeff Radebe gave for advising Zuma to ignore Ginwala's rulings were insufficient.

It said that Zuma's judgment was "irrational" when it came to appointing a fit and proper person to the job.

SIMELANE - A SOCIAL MEDIA BUTTERFLY

WHILE Menzi Simelane has quietly slipped under the radar, he has been trending on Twitter, tweeting about justice, politics and the ANC elective conference.

Politics:

"The only political analysis that matters most is that from the leadership of political parties directly. Everyone else is guessing."

"A decision on how the [African National Congress] deploys its human resources is a collective one by the leadership, informed by many considerations."

"So it's not a democracy because you don't like it."

"In exactly 16 months new members of parliament will take their seats in the National Assembly. So what are your plans if you don't come back?"

"So what is your exit strategy?"

"Changes in the political landscape may bring fear of the unknown. Where seeds of democracy have been planted fear is replaced with opportunity."

Justice:

"A confession is different to an admission. Know the difference."

"Human smuggling and human trafficking are different things."

"Unconstitutionally obtained evidence can be thrown out even if accused escapes prosecution."

Democracy:

"What constitutes a democratic society will always be informed by the changing nature of society. It is always evolving." - Graeme Hosken

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