Publication: Cape Argus Issued: Date: 2009-04-09 Reporter: Richard Young

An open letter from an arms deal opponent to the advocates of the NPA

Refer : Open letter to the National Director of Public Prosecutions


Cape Argus



Reporter Richard Young

Web Link


To Advocates Mpshe, Downer and Steynberg:

As a citizen of the country and primary complainant in the matter of the State vs Zuma and Thint and Thint Holding Southern Africa, I feel personally wronged and betrayed that on a number of occasions I have given evidence under oath on this matter.

But I now learn from the National Prosecuting Authority itself that meddling and manipulation of the process in this matter by one of the most senior of the employees of the organisation that you lead, and who reported directly to you, has led to the withdrawal of charges against all the accused.

I am even more affronted that this conduct, which has absolutely nothing to do with the veracity of the criminal case against the accused, should be used as the reason to withdraw the charges - all the charges and against all three of the accused.

Leonard McCarthy was the Director of Special Operations at the time of this dastardly conduct.

The DSO was in charge of the investigation, not the prosecution.

By the time McCarthy did what he did, the case had been investigated and was ready for prosecution - by a different and separate directorate of the NPA.

You yourself authorised the prosecution and stated publicly that this was your own decision and that there had been no interference in your decision.

McCarthy did not even recommend prosecution.

This was the prerogative of the investigating director, who in fact exercised his prerogative in this case.

So facts and logic dictate that whatever McCarthy did had nothing directly to do with the prosecution itself.

McCarthy also did not himself investigate Schabir Shaik, Zuma and the two Thints.

This was left to one of the most able and honest and hardworking joint NPA-DSO teams ever in the history of the country's modern jurisprudence.

No accusations have been levelled at them. That this NPA-DSO team had to endure the final act of this pathetic eight-year pantomime up on stage, representing the tainted NPA and before the world's press, beggars belief.

Facts and logic dictate that whatever McCarthy did had nothing directly to do with the investigation itself.

McCarthy's hands were not clean, but that does not mean the juristic person called the National Prosecuting Authority also has unclean hands.

Indeed, very specifically, the hands of Advocates Billy Downer SC, Anton Steynberg and senior special investigator Johan du Plooy fall under suspicion.

If their hands are clean and those of their ultimate superior - that's you Advocate Mpshe - are clean, then why is it that you say that the NPA will go to court in this matter with unclean hands?

It does not make sense because it is not sense.

The only thing McCarthy did was interfere with the timing of the serving of the new indictment on Accused No 1.

This "timing" amounted to a period of no more than four weeks at most; this relative to a period of some seven years of investigation, plus one instance where Accused No 1 should have been indicted and another where Accused No 1 was indicted, but had the case struck from the roll because of the inability of the NPA to proceed with the prosecution right there and then (but could have done so in a matter of days thereafter).

Such interference with the timing of the process, while clearly wrong and serving another purpose, can hardly be fatal to a well-founded case.

No reasonable person could conclude that such conduct is fatal to the case against accused Zuma.

And it is certainly not fatal to the case against Thint (Pty) Ltd and Thint Holdings Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.

McCarthy's illegal conduct was clearly at that time a frolic of his own (as concerns being an employee of the NPA).

The saddest thing, however, is how you and your NPA management team seized on McCarthy's personal frolic and turned it into a group frolic of the entire NPA.

It is shameful and shameless.

I am ashamed.

Richard Young
PrEng, PhD, MSc(Eng)

With acknowledgements to
Richard Young and Cape Argus.