Who is the advocate deciding JZ's fate?
She seems to have a history of scrapping cases
Since her appointment as KZN director of public prosecutions five years ago, Advocate Moipone Noko has been dogged by questions about her impartiality.
She will be leading the team of prosecutors tasked with deciding President Jacob Zuma’s fate on fraud and corruption charges that have been haunting him for years.
A quick glance at her career shows she is no stranger to scrapping cases against politicians.
Two weeks after her appointment as KZN’s chief prosecutor in 2012, fraud and corruption charges were dropped against ANC provincial ministers Mike Mabuyakhulu and Peggy Nkonyeni in the so-called “Amigos” case involving Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi. His company, Intaka, allegedly paid bribes to ensure that a contract to supply water purifiers and oxygen generators to hospitals, at hugely inflated prices, went its way.
Noko also withdrew charges against Durban businessman Thoshan Panday and Colonel Navin Madhoe involved in a R60-million accommodation tender during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Panday was accused of trying to bribe Major-General Johan Booysen to drop an investigation into the tender.
Charges against Panday were provisionally withdrawn in 2013, and finally withdrawn the following year because of “irregularities” related to reports of illegal phone tapping and other surveillance said to have been unlawful. Booysen, in his book Blood on their Hands, wrote about the business links between Panday and Zuma’s son Edward.Noko has also been accused of protecting the suspended head of SAPS in KZN, General Mmamonye Ngobeni, following allegations of misconduct relating to her relationship with Panday. The former provincial commissioner’s relationship with Panday was questioned after the payment of a R30,000 bill for a lavish party for Ngobeni’s husband, Lucas.
Noko also withdrew all corruption charges against Durban socialite and businesswoman Shawn Mpisane. Five lever arch files and one manila folder containing documentation, including confidential correspondence between the NPA, the South African Revenue Service and Mpisane’s legal team, were dumped in a secluded section of the judges’ high court parking lot of the high court in Pietermaritzburg.
Noko is to make a decision soon on Zuma’s fate after he submitted representations to the National Prosecuting Authority on Wednesday evening on why he should not be prosecuted on charges of fraud and corruption dating back to his relationship with his financial adviser Schabir Shaik.
His representations have not been made public.
The Democratic Alliance told Times Select it was considering court action to force the NPA to grant it access to Zuma’s representations.
“We have written to the NPA to ask for access to them [representations]. They have not replied and so we wrote to them to ask when we can have access. I suspect that now that President Zuma has indicated these representations are confidential, it will be very difficult for us to get access to them. It looks increasingly likely that this issue will have to be dealt with legally, again,” said DA federal executive chairman James Selfe.
Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said the DA would stand a good change of convincing a court to give them access to the presentations.
“There is a possibility that they can win. The law is unclear on this issue even though the practice until now has been that representations, generally, are confidential,” said de Vos.
The Supreme Court of Appeal last year dismissed a bid by Zuma and the NPA to overturn a High Court in Pretoria judgment that found the decision to drop the charges was irrational. – additional reporting by Olebogeng Molatlhwa