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NC set to probe KZN fraud case

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The head of the NPA has enlisted the Northern Cape's help to probe a Durban senior state advocate accused of using her position to try and shield her husband from prosecution in a fraud matter.

Photo: ANA.

THE HEAD of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Shamila Batohi, has enlisted the services of the Northern Cape Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NCDPP) to investigate a Durban senior State advocate accused of using her position to try to shield her husband from prosecution in a fraud matter.

Bulelwa Makeke, the NPA national spokesperson, said that Batohi had given a directive for the case to be removed from KwaZulu-Natal as it involved a manager at provincial level. She said neutral people were ideal to investigate the matter.

It was reported in March that the woman had tried to talk an investigator from the Hawks’ Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) into influencing a fraud and corruption investigation into her husband. A case to investigate the State advocate for defeating the ends of justice, obstructing the course of justice and corruption was registered at Durban Central police station. At the time, former provincial director of public prosecutions Moipone Noko confirmed the case.

In the affidavit attached to the case docket, it is alleged that the advocate had tried to speak to a senior officer to persuade the investigators to drop the investigation.

“The senior officer had gone to the NPA’s offices when the advocate asked him to convince the investigating officers to stop the ‘malicious investigations’ against her husband. The officer viewed the advances as an embarrassment to the NPA,” said a source.

This advance by the advocate happened between July and September 2017, according to the affidavit.

“She told me to discourage investigators from pursuing charges and seizure of her husband’s assets. This behaviour of the advocate is an insult to me, and towards the oath she took to uphold the law without fear, favour and prejudice. Her behaviour is an embarrassment to the NPA. She compromised the important role that prosecutors have to uphold the law of our country,” read the affidavit.

The woman’s husband was investigated on suspicion of involvement in a cheque scam at a Zululand municipality between 2011 and 2012. It is not clear how far that investigation has gone.

Last week, Makeke said: “The matter involves a senior manager and therefore it could not be handled locally for the sake of objectivity. All the files have been transferred to the Northern Cape. The (NPA) head wants everything reported in the affidavit investigated. She wanted people who are not acquainted with the manager to look at it. The matter is receiving the full attention of the NPA.”