Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2003-09-25 Reporter: Sapa

Maduna : Ngcuka Did Not Need Security Clearance



Mail and Guardian

Date 2003-09-25



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Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Penuell Maduna has rejected suggestions that the appointment of National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka was irregular because he did not receive a security clearance.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, he said Ngcuka's appointment followed the correct prescribed procedure, including Cabinet approval.

"Insofar as I've been able to establish, within the known time constraints, Mr Bulelani Ngcuka was not given any security clearance when he was appointed the National Director of Public Prosecutions with effect from one August 1998."

The appointment was made by then President Nelson Mandela in terms of the Constitution.

A cursory reading of the relevant section and legislation regarding the NDPP clearly indicated a security clearance was never a legal requirement for the appointment.

Regarding the judicial commission of inquiry on spying allegations against Ngcuka, Maduna said Ngcuka himself agreed it was the only effective way to deal with the issue, as Ngcuka "is interested in these answers, as much as we and members of the public are".

On allegations that other senior ANC members may have been spies, he said there would never be a general investigation of people on the basis of media allegations.

"There must be what is called probable cause to investigate."

In Ngcuka's instance, there was a suggestion that the NDPP office was being abused.

"If this suggestion was not there, we would not be asking Judge (Joos) Hefer to make an inquiry."

The inquiry was simply to enable "those who believe, on whatever basis, that Mr Ngcuka is using or abusing the office to target a whole lot of people", to come forward and provide the details, Maduna said.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and the Mail & Guardian.