Hawks has until month end to respond on Mbalula matter – or face court action

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit has given Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, head of the Hawks, until 30 May to provide meaningful feedback on the status of the corruption investigation into Fikile Mbalula, ANC Secretary General. The unit has since 2019, when the case was opened by Monique Taute, Head of Campaigns at AfriForum, tried to get answers from the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Instead, the matter is passed around between the police and the NPA.

The criminal case against Mbalula stems from a 2018 Public Protector report into the then-Sport Minister’s family holiday to Dubai, which referred the matter to the NPA to “investigate whether the funds used to pay for the trip were not the proceeds of money-laundering”. All indications are that the NPA simply ignored this instruction.

The allegations against Mbalula are simple and uncomplicated. They entail that the Dockrat family, through linked companies, allegedly paid for the politician’s holiday – a single transaction with a travel agent without any complicated forensic analysis of financial records and bank statements required.

In a letter to Lebeya dated 4 May, Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of the unit, reiterates the cause for concern on how the matter is being handled. “Based on our experience in this and other matters we respectfully submit that the country’s woes with combatting corruption will remain a pipe dream for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI, also known as the Hawks). The disastrous investigation and prosecution of the Nulane Investment matter is a striking example of the continued ineptness of the DPCI.”

“Either the ineptness or political sheltering of certain individuals appears to persist and can more adequately be equated to the famous quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

“You are implored to heed the request to respond. Acting on behalf of the complainant we reiterate our discontent with the lack of progress and failure to provide meaningful feedback. More importantly, we submit that your failure to present the National Prosecuting Authority with a completed case docket for them to decide on a prosecution lends credence to our client’s concerns of bias,” said Nel in the letter.

If Lebeya does not respond by 30 May the Private Prosecution Unit will be left with no option but to approach the High Court in Pretoria and seek remedy. The recent letter and previous correspondence may form the basis of the application.

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