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CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO and SO­NIA CARSTENS abram.mashego@city­press.co.za

he Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) is pre­par­ing crim­i­nal charges against for­mer SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) boss Ivan Pil­lay, for­mer Hawks head Anwa Dra­mat and top pros­e­cu­tor Ger­rie Nel.

City Press un­der­stands that re­cently ap­pointed Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions Shaun Abra­hams has taken a de­ci­sion to charge the three, along with a num­ber of their for­mer col­leagues, in con­nec­tion with two dif­fer­ent cases.

Two se­nior NPA of­fi­cials told City Press that Pil­lay, Nel, NPA in­ves­ti­ga­tor An­drew Leask and for­mer Sars em­ployee An­dries Janse van Rens­burg – who headed the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s al­leged rogue spy unit – were all set to be charged in con­nec­tion with the al­leged bug­ging of the NPA’s Pre­to­ria head­quar­ters in 2007.

Dra­mat and his for­mer col­leagues – Gaut­eng Hawks head Ma­jor Gen­eral Shadrack Sibiya and Pre­to­ria Hawks boss Colonel Les­lie Maluleke – are set to be charged soon for their roles in the ren­di­tion of five Zim­bab­weans in 2010.

None of the in­di­vid­u­als has been in­formed that de­ci­sions have been taken to crim­i­nally charge them. How­ever, City Press un­der­stands that Abra­hams will be mak­ing an an­nounce­ment on the mat­ter at a press con­fer­ence sched­uled to be called in the next two weeks.

Ap­proached for com­ment this week, Pil­lay con­firmed that he knew noth­ing about the charges, and said he had noth­ing to add. In terms of his set­tle­ment agree­ment with Sars, he is not per­mit­ted to speak to the media.

Sibiya, Dra­mat and Maluleke de­clined to com­ment. Nel did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment and Leask could not be reached.

Abra­hams has in the mean­time also de­cided to drop charges against his deputy, Nomg­cobo Jiba.

Jiba was sched­uled to ap­pear in Pre­to­ria’s Spe­cialised Com­mer­cial Crimes Court on Au­gust 19 on two charges of fraud and one of per­jury re­lated to her han­dling of the case against KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Ma­jor Gen­eral Jo­han Booy­sen.

City Press has learnt that the NPA is set to with­draw as a com­plainant in the mat­ter. The NPA is also set to chal­lenge the rul­ing of Judge Trevor Gor­ven who, in his judg­ment, ac­cused Jiba of ly­ing un­der oath in the same mat­ter. Two sources told City Press the NPA was pre­par­ing a con­do­na­tion ap­pli­ca­tion for late fil­ing that would pave the way for an ap­peal against Gor­ven’s judg­ment.

City Press has also learnt that Abra­hams has de­cided not to con­tinue with the re­view of a dropped crim­i­nal case against Spe­cialised Com­mer­cial Crimes unit head Lawrence Mr­webi on a charge of de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice.

Abra­hams’ pre­de­ces­sor, Mx­olisi Nx­as­ana, ap­pointed Ad­vo­cate Barry Roux to re­view the case gainst Mr­webi, who al­legedly in­ter­fered in a case in­volv­ing a close col­league. City Press has learnt that Roux’s man­date has been ter­mi­nated. Roux de­clined to com­ment. For­mer NPA pros­e­cu­tor and spokesper­son Nathi Mn­cube, who laid the charges against Mr­webi, said: “A week or so ago, I was ad­vised by the pros­e­cu­tor that the NPA would not pro­ceed with the pros­e­cu­tion.”

Se­nior sources told City Press that both Jiba and Mr­webi had been in­formed of the de­ci­sions to halt pro­ceed­ings against them.

Dur­ing his first press con­fer­ence as na­tional di­rec­tor of public pros­e­cu­tions a month ago, Abra­hams told re­porters that he was not a mem­ber of any fac­tion within the NPA. He had pre­vi­ously been re­ported to have been close to the so-called Jiba fac­tion within the or­gan­i­sa­tion, to which Mr­webi is al­lied.

Yesterday, NPA spokesper­son Lu­vuyo Mfaku would nei­ther con­firm nor deny the de­ci­sions to charge Pil­lay, Nel, Dra­mat and their for­mer col­leagues.

“When the [na­tional di­rec­tor] ad­dressed the NPA staff, media and the public, he com­mit­ted him­self to reg­u­lar en­gage­ment with the media and the public on mat­ters that at­tracted media and public in­ter­est,” he re­sponded by SMS.

“The NPA lead­er­ship in­tends to en­gage the media soon on those mat­ters. The is­sues you have raised will be ad­dressed dur­ing the soon-to-be-con­vened media brief­ing,” he con­tin­ued.

“We do not in­tend to en­gage the media on a piece­meal ba­sis. We do not com­ment on in­for­ma­tion from face­less sources and in­for­ma­tion ped­dlers within the NPA whose sole ob­jec­tive is to desta­bilise the in­sti­tu­tion.”

The im­pend­ing charges against Pil­lay re­late to his al­leged au­tho­ri­sa­tion of an illegal op­er­a­tion in 2007, called Pro­ject Sun­day Evenings, in­tended to spy on for­mer NPA head Vusi Pikoli and other se­nior NPA of­fi­cials who were part of the team in­ves­ti­gat­ing cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against then na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Jackie Selebi.

Nel and Leask al­legedly spent R900 000 on bug­ging equip­ment for the op­er­a­tion. At the time, the two were mem­bers of the now dis­banded Scor­pi­ons unit.

The al­le­ga­tions are con­tained in sworn af­fi­davits that Hawks of­fi­cers re­cently de­posed to from mem­bers of Sars’ al­leged rogue unit – Hel­gard Lom­bard and Jo­han de Waal. Janse van Rens­burg, also known as “Skol­lie”, was the unit’s for­mer head.

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