Publication: Sapa Issued: Date: 2004-07-25 Reporter: Sapa

Ngcuka Forced to Resign : PAC




Date 2004-07-25




National director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka quit his post because of pressure from some quarters in the government and the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress said on Sunday.

PAC secretary-general Mofihli Likotsi said when Ngcuka announced he was investigating Deputy President Jacob Zuma for possible corruption in the multi-billion rands arms deal, he lost favour with some of his comrades in the government and ANC.

"Ngcuka did not enjoy the support he deserved and his professional conduct (came) severely under pressure and under scrutiny."

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 Zuma.

Likotsi said the last straw was when Ngcuka had a fallout with Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana.

On May 28, Mushwana released his report after probing whether Ngcuka conducted himself properly when investigating allegations of corruption against Zuma.

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

It is the probe against Zuma which has 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 Mushwana's report and expressed its disapproval with Ngcuka's statement. Parliament also recommended that no further action be taken against him.

Likotsi said Parliament's intervention in the debacle was diplomatic but Ngcuka realised there were "certain and calculated efforts" to tarnish him image.

"It is good that he stood his ground," Likotsi said.

"We believe he dug deep enough to conclude there was prima facie evidence against Zuma."

Commenting on Ngcuka's resignation, Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille said: "It (Ngcuka's resignation) is a sad day for corruption busting in our country.

"Instead of getting a pat on the back for the good work he has done, Ngcuka got a political kick up the butt."

With acknowledgement to Sapa.