South Africa

Moving Sideways

Implicated NPA KZN boss Moipone Noko headed for top North West job

Original photo of Moipone Noko by Netwerk 24

Moipone Noko, who stands accused by witnesses at the Zondo Commission of habitually abusing her office to protect politically connected individuals, has been transferred as Director of Public Prosecutions in North West.

Moipone Noko, who had ambitions of becoming the head of the NPA, was central to the dropping of charges against several high-profile suspects in KwaZulu-Natal, including Zuma-linked businessman Thoshan Panday, and ANC heavyweights Mike Mabuyakhulu and Peggy Nkonyeni, in the R144-million “Amigos” scandal.

In her decade-long tenure as head of prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Noko was responsible for withdrawing serious charges against a long list of dodgy, politically connected businesspeople.

The NPA confirmed at the weekend that Noko is the new Director of Public Prosecutions in North West. Advocate Elaine Zungu has been appointed as acting Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal.

As acting Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Noko dropped fraud and corruption charges in August 2012 against Nkonyeni, Mabuyakhulu and four others. The alleged scam was linked to the sale of water purification plants to the KwaZulu-Natal health department at inflated prices, which cost the public purse R144-million.

In February 2018, Mabuyakhulu, ANC deputy chair in KwaZulu-Natal, was charged with money laundering, fraud and corruption in another matter related to a 2012 R28-million North Sea Jazz Festival scam. In March 2019 Mabuyakhulu withdrew his name from the ANC’s list for a position in the legislature.

It was Noko who recommended the prosecution of former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen and members of the Cato Manor Unit on bogus charges of racketeering.

Booysen was relentlessly hounded in an attempt to shake him off investigating various politically connected criminals in the province.

Booysen has testified to the Zondo commission that Noko lied when she told a panel interviewing candidates to head the NPA that she had found the Booysen case already on the roll on assuming office. Correspondence seen by Daily Maverick proves the opposite.

That was an absolute lie. Noko signed and recommended our prosecution. I was later told how, when Shaun Abrahams became the NPA boss, she and another NPA official lied in a prosecution memorandum and a PowerPoint presentation to re-prosecute me and the Cato Manor guys,” Booysen told the Zondo Commission.

In 2015 Noko attempted to re-enroll charges of racketeering against Booysen and 27 others after her previous authorisation had been set aside by the High Court.

Two months after her appointment, Noko also dropped charges of fraud and corruption against businessman and Zuma family associate Thoshan Panday, who allegedly siphoned off R60-million from the SAPS in inflated 2010 Fifa World Cup procurements.

Noko also dropped charges against Panday’s SAPS enabler Colonel Navin Madhoe. Madhoe later allegedly attempted to offer a R1-million bribe to Booysen to make the case go away. Madhoe was caught on camera in a police sting, but continues to occupy the same position in SAPS.

Booysen headed the investigation into the crooked 2010 Fifa World Cup tenders.

Noko is also implicated in thwarting the prosecution of Durban businesswoman Shawn Mpisane in relation to alleged multimillion-rand tax fraud.

Noko was also responsible for then KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Chiman Patel’s early retirement after she had approved crimen injuria charges lodged by a junior staff member against the judge.

The charges were later withdrawn. Patel then won a R900,000 civil claim against the state. Awarding the claim, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba noted that Noko’s decision to prosecute Judge Patel had been ill-advised.

Noko will find herself working with Major-General Patrick Mbotho, who was transferred to head the Hawks in North West after allegedly posting pornographic videos to a detectives’ WhatsApp group. Mbotho has also been linked in court cases to Cape Town underworld figures.

In May 2017, Mbotho was spotted, with Northern Cape provincial police commissioner Risimati Shivuri, meeting underworld figure Nafiz Modack at an upmarket hotel. DM

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