News

Now NPA goes for Nxasana

2016-02-21 06:03

Capping an onslaught against former security cluster heavyweights, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is now setting its sights on its former head, Mxolisi Nxasana.

City Press has reliably learnt that a criminal case of sexual assault is being prepared against the erstwhile former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP).

The revelation that Nxasana is in the NPA’s sights comes as the body charged a raft of individuals who were seen as Nomgcobo Jiba’s foes with criminal offences in the past week.

Nxasana was paid R17 million to leave the NPA last year after a settlement with the presidency just days before an inquiry into his fitness to hold office was to begin. He had been in office for only 22 months. Nxasana had a bitter relationship with Jiba, his former deputy, who is said to be close to President Jacob Zuma.

According to a recording of a recent NPA meeting obtained by City Press, Nxasana is accused of having sexually harassed an NPA employee during his tenure as NDPP.

Nxasana denied having harassed the employee.

The employee is also suing the NPA for R7.5 million for shock, pain and suffering, and contumelia (disrespect that causes offence). She has already served the authority with a summons. This is unrelated to the sexual harassment allegations, but relate to what she says was Nxasana’s treatment of her.

According to the recording, the employee – whose name is known to City Press – complained to Jiba and her colleagues about Nxasana’s actions.

In the recording, one official says: “She [the NPA employee] complained to us that the NDPP [referring to Nxasana] sexually harassed her. She said every time she came into Nxasana’s office to bring documents, he always told her that she has lovely legs and would touch them.”

The recording, which has been verified by three NPA officials, is said to have been made by fellow prosecutors who attended a recent meeting in which the allegations against Nxasana were discussed.

City Press understands that the police have also obtained a statement, but it is unclear if a criminal case has been lodged.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said: “The National Director of Public Prosecutions [Shaun Abrahams] is not aware of such a matter. No one within the law enforcement community has brought such a matter to his attention. We therefore dismiss those allegations as utter nonsense.”

However, Nxasana this week confirmed that he was aware of the existence of the recording and the allegations made against him.

He denied having harassed the woman, saying the allegations were manufactured by those who were worried about the court challenge by civil society groups to set aside his removal, and have the settlement agreement declared unlawful and invalid.

“When I first heard about the allegations, I laughed. I said to myself, ‘they are very desperate to find something that they could use to criminally charge me or tarnish my name’. Why didn’t she report it to our HR department or the police when it happened?” he said.

Nxasana blamed the allegations on his former deputy Jiba, whom he accused of having been out to get him at all costs.

In her civil claim, the employee states in the summons that, on October 4 2013, Nxasana removed her from her senior management position.

“After the unlawful removal of the plaintiff from her position, the defendant did not provide the plaintiff with alternative employment nor responsibilities. The plaintiff was left loitering in the office,” the summons reads.

The summons goes on to state that Nxasana “or his agents” harassed her by not signing performance agreements, laid “malicious criminal charges” against her and had the Hawks search her house twice.

The employee alleges that as a result of Nxasana’s actions, she developed major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, symptomology, anxiety disorder, heart disease, uncontrollable emotions and seizures.

The NPA employee states in papers that she had to undergo surgery and counselling, and is currently on chronic medication.

The NPA has been given until next Saturday to indicate if it will oppose the claim.

Nxasana denied the claims contained in the suit, saying he realised the employee was placed in his office to spy on him.

“I then requested to have my own personal assistant, which was approved,” he said.

Mfaku said the prosecuting authority had requested further information to help them plead the civil suit.

NPA in overdrive
Monday

On Monday, former prosecutor and now DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach was charged with obstruction and defeating the ends of justice. She has already appeared in court, and she and her former legal representative, Gerhard Wagenaar, were released on bail.

The charges relate to Breytenbach allegedly refusing to hand in her official laptop and deleting evidence from it while she faced an internal investigation for misconduct several years ago.

She was internally charged on similar grounds in 2013, but was acquitted.

Friday

The NPA announced on Friday that it had decided to charge Dramat, former Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya and Captain Lesley Maluleke with seven charges, including kidnapping.

The NPA reinstated the same charges against KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head General Johan Booysen that were withdrawn last year.

Booysen made a brief court appearance on Friday, joining 27 members of the now disbanded serious and violent crime unit based at Cato Manor in Durban. They were arrested on charges of murder, robbery and racketeering in 2012.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban heard that the state was reissuing the same indictment containing 116 counts against Booysen, and it intended to call the same 300-plus witnesses it had named when the case was transferred to that court almost two years ago.

Booysen has argued in court and in SA Police Service (SAPS) disciplinary hearings that he was being targeted for prosecuting politically connected businessman Thoshan Panday, a former business partner of President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward, for allegedly defrauding the SAPS of R10 million in accommodation fees during the 2010 World Cup.

Booysen was granted R5 000 bail and will appear in court on April 1.

Booysen, who has been replaced as the Hawks’ provincial head despite winning an SAPS review board hearing that ruled that he was being targeted, said he was convinced he would again walk free.

Yesterday

City Press learnt yesterday that criminal charges were opened against suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride and two of his colleagues.

McBride, Matthews Sesoko and Innocent Khuba are facing charges for altering the rendition report that cleared former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat, who, together with his former colleagues, were informed on Friday that they would be facing criminal prosecution on the matter.

The charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice are said to have been opened in Pretoria by Ipid acting head Israel Kgamanyane.

McBride yesterday said: “I never did anything wrong. As I have said before, those who are committed to fighting crime in this country are targeted with trumped-up charges.

This is part of a campaign involving very senior people, including the minister of police, to fabricate cases against innocent people to justify unlawful actions in the name of justice.”

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September 15 2019