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Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is on the verge of a “new dawn”, newly-appointed national director of public prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana said on Friday.
Addressing the National Press Club in Pretoria on his vision for the NPA, Nxasana conceded that public perception of the NPA was generally negative.
“In my view, what is at the heart of the problems of the NPA at present, is those few so-called high profile cases.
“Obviously, there is a perception that has been created that the NPA is somehow trying to protect some high-ranking people,” he said.
“I will be looking into those (cases) with the help of my deputies and try to improve the integrity and credibility of the NPA.
“Where harsh decisions have to be made, they will be made with a view to improve the image of the organisation.”
Nxasana said he was up to the task of leading the organisation and would need communities' help to combat runaway crime levels.
“I would want to assure all members of society, especially those who have been victims of crime, that this is a new dawn for the NPA,” he said.
“I pledge my commitment to prosecute all cases, where there is sufficient and admissible evidence, without fear, favour or prejudice.”
Nxasana said the NPA was going ahead with its appeal against high court Judge John Murphy's ruling on controversial former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
“At (the) NPA we hold the view that if this judgment is left unchallenged, it will have serious legal and practical consequences for the NPA.
“We appeal to clarify the parameters of the courts' inherent jurisdiction to review prosecutorial decisions and the discretionary powers of the NPA to institute and conduct criminal proceedings as contemplated in the NPA Act.”
Nxasana denied that the appeal was an attempt to protect Mdluli.
The NPA had lodged the appeal with a “clear conscience” to preserve its principle of taking decisions independently and impartially, he said.
“I plead with the public to have confidence and trust in our word that our intentions are pure. I will work tirelessly to change the negative perceptions about the integrity and credibility of the NPA,” Nxasana said.
“It is indeed unfortunate that the excellent work of many dedicated prosecutors is overshadowed by the few cases that have occupied the media space recently.”
In September, Murphy overturned an NPA decision to withdraw fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli.
The former spy boss allegedly used state coffers to pay for his private BMW. He allegedly registered his relatives, girlfriends, and their families as covert intelligence operatives and paid them as such.
Murphy also criticised the decision by the director of public prosecutions for south Gauteng, Andrew Chauke, to withdraw murder charges against Mdluli.
The court censured Chauke's decision to send the matter of Oupa Ramogibe's death for an inquest, instead of a prosecution.
Ramogibe died in February 1999 after marrying Tshidi Buthelezi, the mother of Mdluli's child.
The Ramogibe family has accused Mdluli of killing him. However, Mdluli claimed there was a plot to implicate him in the crime and that the Ramogibe family was working with the police.