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|Onderwerp: Menzi guts the NPA Fri May 07, 2010 9:19 pm|| |
GLYNNIS UNDERHILLL | CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - May 07 2010 16:59
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Menzi Simelane, the national director of public prosecutions, has "totally dismantled" the successful Specialised Commercial Crime Unit (SCCU), say well-placed sources, and removed and redeployed its head, advocate Chris Jordaan SC.
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The acclaimed Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) almost went the same way during restructuring by Simelane, said the sources, and its head, Willie Hofmeyr, kept his post only because Justice Minister Jeff Radebe intervened last week.
Hofmeyr is deputy national prosecutions director and head of the independent statutory Special Investigations Unit. Jordaan had been with the SCCU since its inception in 1999.
Simelane has claimed that the restructuring is to promote service delivery, but the commercial crime unit's conviction rate has never fallen below 92%.
Morale is said to be plummeting at the national prosecuting authority (NPA) and many senior staff are hunting for jobs elsewhere. About 16 legal figures have received notices that they are to be redeployed.
NPA sources said the restructuring of the SCCU was "already done and dusted" by the time Radebe intervened.
From April 1 the SCCU's name has been changed to the Commercial Crime Component (CCC). Although there used to be a national reporting structure, the unit no longer has a head and its regional offices now report to the provincial directorates of public prosecutions.
It has been split into two, one section dealing with complex commercial-crime cases and the other with "run-of-the mill" cases and general litigation.
Sources complained that the restructuring was ill-conceived and had placed a heavy burden on those responsible for general litigation because there were too few staff.