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Justice Minister Lamola: ANC ‘conspirators’ who accuse the President of using the NPA to settle scores, must come forward

Justice Minister Lamola: ANC ‘conspirators’ who accuse the President  of using the NPA to settle scores, must come forward
Justice minister Ronald Lamola The original photo has been altered. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

Minister of Justice and ANC deputy president hopeful Ronald Lamola has warned against the creation of a certain narrative around the work of the National Prosecuting Authority.

With the ANC national conference just less than two months away, ANC deputy president hopeful Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola hit back at those who have accused him and President Cyril Ramaphosa of using the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to settle political scores. 

Speaking at the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation Inclusive Growth Forum in the Drakensberg over the weekend, the minister said the country is in the age of accountability which means that political elites and corporations are not exempt from facing the might of the law. 

“It is given in any society or democracy that there will be conspiracies that there is interference in the work of the prosecuting authority – there is someone behind the scene like Lamola or the President who is telling the NPA to arrest this one and not to arrest this one,” he said.

Lamola dared those who have made accusations against him and the President to use the NPA Act to take them to task. “…Anyone who does not do so is a conspirator, is a liar and a fraudster. There must be accountability in the country and we will not allow conspiracies to derail us from doing the job,” he said. 

“I challenge anyone who is part of this political cynicism in the ruling party, where those who are called into account run behind conspiracies. They have sections that can help them, I can be arrested, the President of the republic can be arrested. So this section of the NPA is very clear, anyone who has got evidence that I have interfered with the NPA, they can report me – I am liable to be prosecuted.

“I would have not done my duty if I did not quote this important section of the National Prosecuting Authority. The NPA section 32(b) says subject to this Constitution and act, no organ of state, employee or member nor any other person may improperly interfere, hinder the prosecuting authority or any member thereof in carrying out its powers and duties of functions.

Read with section 4(1) of the same act – any person that contravenes the provisions of 32(1)(b) shall be guilty of an offence and liable of  a conviction or crime or imprisonment …” he said. 

Ramaphosa’s 2017 campaign focused on ending corruption within the party. This led to the implementation of the controversial step-aside rule which has affected some prominent politicians in the governing party.

In the past year, the NPA has cracked the whip on those alleged to have committed serious crimes. This has seen a number of high-profile politicians being charged, including suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. The latest group of individuals to be arrested include former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, former Transnet group chief financial officer Anoj Singh and former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama.

In a Daily Maverick article, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu raised her concerns about the NPA, saying that it was applying selective justice. 

Earlier this week the ANC Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal structures held a joint press briefing at which they said the ANC’s step-aside guidelines were being used to fight factional battles. They are planning to have the guidelines completely scrapped at the national conference in December. The guidelines state that anyone who has been criminally charged can no longer serve in any capacity within the party and should step aside from their position in government or the party.

“We have also agreed that the step-aside rule is weakening the ANC and de-focusing all of us from ensuring that our organisation remains a vehicle for socioeconomic transformation,” Limpopo secretary Reuben Madadzhe said at the joint presser. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    So the comrades say, yes but not me
    Keep on trucking Ronald , more power to your conviction
    Interesting to see what the Preez says tonight,

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    With the ANC conference so close, I wonder if there is still time to get hold of a few of those Iranian drones.

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    If comrade, cadre Zweli Mkhize is allowed to stand for President then the ANC will be known as a corrupt organisation by all South Africans. It has been proved that Mkhize, wife and son “aquired” money from the Digital Vibes scam with no doubt. It will be a an invitation to all criminals to stand for top Positions in the ANC. What about Mokonyane and many more? No decent law-abiding SA ctizens will vote for the ANC – wishful thinking ?

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    He can issue his warnings but the perception would remain when you have people to be charged only to be investigated. You have people charged five years ago and their trial has hardly started in the Zandile Gumede case and it is simply reinforces the notion that the NPA has political influence. The other issue is the speed with which the Enoch case has been dealt with compared to many other cases. The other case is the Mandla Msibi case that reeks and smells of political influence. Yes we will not know who has spoken to who in the NPA but the conduct of the NPA will be speaking volumes. Lamola can quote section of the Constitution like the criminals who use the very laws they broke to defend themselves. He has to get the NPA to have standard operating procedures and in
    TRANSNET case, the shabby conduct of the NPA pointed out by defence lawyers points to the a hastily prepared prosecution in the face of greylisting and we can see these thing as we are not fools. The NPA remains a mess including in the Gupta case. The Guptas were recently charged after some amongst questioned his extensive lies when there were no charges and a case number to talk of the extradition of the Guptas. For Lamola to be pushed by FATF to get the NPA doing something about state capture says volumes about the competence in the NPA. We want convictions not only prosecutions. We await the arrest and prosecution of Zizi Kodwa and David Mahlobo.

  • David Mark says:

    Lamola would make a fine and decent deputy. Maybe a proper president one day as well.

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