Lamola threatens anyone who questions NPA about Ramaphosa's Phala Phala with 10 years in prison


Minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola yesterday responded to questions in parliament on the break-in and robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm in Bela-Bela, Limpopo, in which a large sum of cash was allegedly stolen in February 2020, saying the NPA has not made decision because it does not have a docket.

“I have been informed that the NPA has not yet initiated criminal prosecutions against any person alleged to be involved in the theft committed at the Phala Phala farm as criminal investigations in respect of the allegations are still underway.

“The relevant DPP (director of public prosecutions) will commence assessing the evidence once the case docket is formally handed by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations,” said Lamola.

Article continues below these jobs...

He moved quickly to say there must be no political pressure on the NPA or on any investigative authority. “While we do understand that certain things need to be done expeditiously, these institutions are aware of the pressure.

“But political pressure on its own is also interference. If you don’t want the executive to interfere, allow the due processes to take its course… We expect also our colleagues in the political environment to respect these processes which have been provided for by the constitution of this country and the laws that bind all of us.

“The criminal justice system has not yet failed on the matter. It is taking due course. So, let’s give this opportunity a life of its own so that due processes can take place properly without any fear, favour or prejudice,” he said.

Lamola said the NPA’s role in terms of the constitution is to prosecute and that prosecution is vested with the NPA in terms of the constitution and in terms of the NPA Act.

“In fact, it is criminality in terms of Section 8 of the NPA Act to interfere with the work of the NPA. It is a crime which carries a sentence of 10 years, if there is any form of interference from anyone. So, the role of the department is to help and allow NPA in terms of processes of budgets and so forth.

“But the department does not prosecute, neither does the minister prosecute. It is only an authority that is vested with the NPA. If there could be any role that we could play, it would be on the question that is still coming on the role of the central authority in liaison with the international community on behalf of law enforcement agencies in the country,” Lamola said.

Steven Mahlubanzima Jafta of the ANC asked a question regarding the separation of powers – if Lamola can give instructions to the NPA or receive briefings from the NPA.

“Indeed, it does amount to interference if I instruct the NPA to prosecute anyone because that is something they have to take a decision on, informed by the facts and the law on their own. Nothing else and nothing of any other consideration and they have to do it in terms of the constitution without fear, favour or prejudice to anyone.

“There is no one who can instruct them to prosecute anyone. That is what the constitution says and that is what the NPA Act says,” said minister Lamola.

He said the department always encourages all the role players in the criminal justice system to ensure that there is expeditious processes when matters are handled.

– Sowetan

Latest Gossip News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Latest Gossip News via email.