Parliament demands answers on why NPA delayed Vrede dairy arrests

02 March 2018 - 15:22 By Matthew Savides
Mathole Motshekga. File photo.
Mathole Motshekga. File photo.
Image: Kevin Sutherland

Parliament is demanding answers on allegations that the National Prosecuting Authority deliberately delayed making arrest in the high-profile investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at the Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm project.

And they want the answers on Wednesday.

“Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services and the portfolio committee on police convened a special joint sitting on Wednesday‚ March 7‚ to interrogate revelations that the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) investigations into state capture were impeded by slow decision-making by the NPA‚” a statement issued on Friday read.

The statement was issued jointly by Mathole Motshekga and Francois Beukman‚ the respective chairs of the justice and police portfolio committees.

“The chairpersons indicated that both the head of the NPA‚ Adv Shaun Abrahams‚ and the acting head of the Hawks‚ Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata‚ will be invited to the meeting‚” the statement continued.

Motshekga and Beukman said the meeting comes after the police portfolio committee heard on February 28 that the NPA had delayed the arrest of suspects in the Vrede dairy farm case until February‚ “even though Hawks finalised its investigation into the matter in 2017”.

“We cannot have the public doubt our institutions and‚ therefore‚ we need to get to the bottom of this. The NPA will have to explain why there was such a long delay‚” said Motshekga.

Beukman added that Wednesday’s meeting was important to understand the obstacles faced by the Hawks in doing its job.

“The efforts of the Hawks to fight organised crime should not be hampered by slow decision-making. Prosecution-driven cases dealing with state capture and court-ready dockets should be prioritised‚” he said.