Publication: Sapa Issued: Date: 2004-07-25 Reporter: Sapa Reporter: Anele ka Nene

Ngcuka's Resignation a Pity : DA




Date 2004-07-25


Anele ka Nene, Sapa


The departure of National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka from his post is a great pity, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

DA spokeswoman Sheila Camerer said it was clear that Ngcuka has finally succumbed to the "huge" political pressure put on him by the African National Congress majority in Parliament.

"Ngcuka has been a tough minded crime buster who played rough and acted without fear, favour or prejudice when pursuing criminals as required by the Constitution," she said.

Sunday newspapers reported that Ngcuka, who is also an ANC member, has asked to resign from his post.

The government's chief spokesman, Joel Netshitenzhe, has confirmed that Ngcuka had submitted his resignation.

"Once the president (Thabo Mbeki) has formally considered the matter and formally responded to the minister (of justice, Bridgette Mabandla), a formal announcement will be made," he said.

Ngcuka is the latest victim of the political fallout from the Scorpions' investigations of corruption allegations involving Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

The chief prosecutor said he had prima facie evidence against the deputy president but would not prosecute him as the chance of a conviction was not great enough.

On May 28, Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana released his report after probing whether Ngcuka conducted himself properly when investigating Zuma for alleged corruption over the multi-billion rand arms deal.

The deputy president complained to the Mushwana in October last year that he was not fairly treated by Ngcuka during the probe.

It is the investigation against Zuma which resulted in Ngcuka, Mushwana and former justice and constitutional development minister Penuell Maduna feuding with each other.

When Mushwana's report was sent to Parliament, it unanimously adopted the public protector's report and expressed its disapproval with Ngcuka's statement. Parliament also recommended that no further action be taken against him.

Camerer said on Sunday Ngcuka's resignation proved it was unwise to put high profile ANC politicians into jobs which required absolute impartiality.

"Inevitably cadres like Ngcuka and Mushwana are liable to be pressured by the ANC or by factions within the party," she said.

"Indeed, they are set up for failure."

Camerer said the DA would be watching with interest to see if Ngcuka's resignation would affect the case of corruption and fraud against Schabir Shaik.

Shaik, also an ANC member and Zuma's financial adviser, was under investigation in connection with the arms deal.

With acknowledgement to Anele ka Nene and Sapa.