What they said
As to whether charges against Ndebele would be dropped, Mfaku said: “This is denied. The NPA received representations from the accused, the head of the SCCU in Pretoria is considering the said representations. No decision has been taken in respect of the matter.”
Mfaku said Abrahams “did not override any decision nor did [he] take any decision to prosecute in this matter. The prosecution team took the decision to prosecute independently in line with the NPA policy directives and conveyed their decision to the leadership of the institution.”
He said Abrahams “does not personally involve himself with matters” but is “regularly briefed on matters in terms of section 34(2) and (3) of the NPA Act, read with section 22(1)”.
“The NDPP considers matters personally when reviewing a decision of a director of public prosecutions or a special director of public prosecutions ... and after having received representations. Where policy directives have not been complied with, the NDPP may intervene in the prosecutorial process in terms of the provisions of the NPA Act,” he said.
“The independence of the NDPP and his office is sacrosanct.”
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters’ spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said: “As you might be aware, your enquiry is based on a matter that is before a court of law and the sub judice principle applies. Therefore, further comment on this matters is reserved.”
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said: “The allegations made that the CEO and the RTMC played any role in the events that led to the criminal charges are both unfortunate and unfounded. The RTMC CEO never lodged any complaint about the progress of the investigation, nor threatened about any political interference.
“The same allegations were made in the ... application in the criminal court and such application was dismissed on the grounds that there was strong evidence and [that] Tasima and its coaccused should stand trial.”
Zwane said an affidavit later filed by Serunye and confirmed by Cloete denied there was any political interference.
“The minister of transport never met with the investigating officer and allegations are just a witchhunt,” Zwane said.
“If there were any threats made during their engagements, surely the police will have laid a criminal case of intimidation and defeating the ends of justice.”
The Hawks did not respond to a request for comment.
UNDER PRESSURE A note from Cloete’s investigation diary that suggests he was threatened with ‘ministerial intervention’