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Johannesburg - Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, notorious Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir and Lolly Jackson’s alleged killer George Louca could all be back in court in the next few months.
That’s if the National Prosecuting Authority lives up to statements it made on Tuesday.
At a briefing held at the Director of Public Prosecutions headquarters in central Johannesburg, the director for south Gauteng, Andrew Chauke, spoke to the media about the NPA’s successes over the past financial quarter.
Chauke told the media that his organisation was not in crisis, and that an increased rate of finalised cases and convictions over the past three months was proof the NPA was improving. He said the public and the media’s perception of the failure rate at the authority was worse than it actually was.
Asked about some of the high-profile cases his team had allegedly fumbled, he insisted that there could be new developments within the next few months. One of the cases involved Mdluli.
The former intelligence chief was accused of the kidnapping and murder of Oupa Ramogibe, who was killed in 1999 along with three others.
Ramogibe was the former husband of Mdluli’s lover at the time. Last November, an inquest into the death decided that there was no evidence to implicate Mdluli in the murder.
Chauke said he would know within the next few weeks whether they would be further prosecuting Mdluli and which charges he would face.
He said the authority was simply waiting for court transcripts of the inquest so that the decision could be finalised.
The other high-profile person was Krejcir.
He was accused of fraudulently claiming a R4.75 million dread disease insurance payout from Liberty Life last year based allegedly on a falsified medical report submitted by his then urologist Dr Marian Tupy. The charges were withdrawn in April last year.
Krejcir was also allegedly involved in the armed robbery of a Pretoria electronics shop in October 2011, but the NPA dropped the charges against him 12 months later.
However, Chauke insisted that investigations into the alleged gangster were soon to be completed and hinted that further charges were on the way.
Then there is Louca.
He was accused of murdering strip club magnate Jackson in 2010, but fled to Cyprus shortly after the crime was committed.
He was expected to be extradited to South Africa two months ago, but an application to the European Court of Human Rights has slowed down the process.
Chauke was adamant, however, that Louca would return within the next two months.
According to the NPA’s quarterly results, at both regional and district level, case finalisations were up, except for a marginal decrease at the high court.
Meanwhile, case backlogs had decreased overall by about 13 percent.
However, the prevalence of sexual violence and drug-related offences have become a major concern for the NPA.
The head of the sexual offences portfolio, Kholeka Gcaleka, said the specialised sex crimes courts announced by the Department of Justice earlier this year were ready to operate, at least in Gauteng.
Meanwhile, an audit was being conducted on all sexual offence cases to analyse what prosecutors need to do to improve conviction rates. She said this audit, due to be completed in the next week, could help guide police and prosecutors in their investigations and subsequent court proceedings.
The NPA was also set to perform a similar audit on drug-related offences, and operations in drug hotspots were planned to assist in the war on drugs.
The NPA has identified the following crime hotspots: