Publication: Sapa Issued: Johannesburg Date: 2004-07-26 Reporter: Sapa

Ngcuka Hands in Resignation : Report






Date 2004-07-24




National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka has asked to resign from his post, the Sunday Times reports.

"Ngcuka is the latest victim of the political fallout from the Scorpions' investigations of alleged corruption by Deputy President Jacob Zuma," the report read.

The government's chief spokesman, Joel Netshitenzhe confirmed on Saturday that Ngcuka had submitted his resignation, the Sunday Times reported.

"Once the President has formally considered the matter and formally responded to the Minister (of Justice, Bridgette Mabandla), a formal announcement will be made," he was quoted as saying.

Scorpions spokesman Sipho Ngwema told the Sunday Times that Ngcuka had been considering resigning late last year, but did not want to leave the National Prosecuting Authority in crisis during the Hefer spy inquiry.

The report added that Ngcuka had told the Sunday Times recently that he did not expect to see out his full term, but would leave only when it was clear it was not a forced departure.

It further quoted University of the Witwatersrand analyst Tom Lodge saying: "He has not waited long enough to prove he is going of his own free will ... This looks like the result of very effective political pressure."

The Sunday Times report read: "When Ngcuka was appointed as the head of the authority, doubts were raised about whether the former African National Congress (ANC) senator and deputy chairman of the National Council of Provinces would be an independent chief prosecutor.

"But he proved his critics wrong by instituting criminal investigations against top ANC officials.

"These included the party's former Chief Whip Tony Yengeni, who was nailed for corruption,and Deputy President Jacob Zuma, whom Ngcuka did not prosecute for allegedly soliciting an arms-deal bribe despite claiming to have a prima facie case against him.

"Zuma reported Ngcuka to Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana for allegedly abusing his powers. Mushwana ruled in Zuma's favour, prompting an angry response by Ngcuka and former Justice Minister Penuell Maduna, who said the Public Protector was the 'worst intellectual case'."

However Parliament adopted Mushwana's report disapproving of Ngcuka's conduct.

Maduna himself resigned over a fallout from the Zuma investigation.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.