Simelane still a Bar member

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iol nws oct 6 PN_Menzi Simelane1

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Menzi Simelane. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Johannesburg -

Menzi Simelane remains a member of the Johannesburg Bar while it continues its disciplinary procedures against him, chairman Modise Khoza SC said on Wednesday.

“He hasn't been removed. He is still a member of the Johannesburg Bar,” Khoza said, following a report in The Times that he had been stripped of his membership.

Khoza said there were processes in place to subject him to a disciplinary inquiry.

Charges arising from information contained in a report, dated November 2008, following the Ginwala inquiry were still being finalised. The issue would be considered by the Bar Council at its first meeting next year.

In the meantime, Simelane could still practise if he wanted to.

“He hasn't been struck off. He hasn't been found guilty. He can practise if he wants to,” said Khoza.

The Times reported on Wednesday that Simelane had been “quietly removed” from office as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

Without going into detail, NPA spokesman Bulelwa Makeke told the newspaper: “He no longer works for the NPA Ä in any capacity.”

In October, the Constitutional Court confirmed a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the Democratic Alliance that President Jacob Zuma's decision to appoint Simelane as NDPP was invalid.

This followed a long-running DA submission that Zuma had not properly considered Simelane's appointment, and had only had Simelane in mind.

Justice department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said Simelane's salary had been cancelled, and that “all processes, including consideration of the implications of the (Constitutional Court) judgment insofar as it impacts on the appointment of an NDPP, are underway”.

“Due to legal implications involved in these processes, we are unable to give full details.”

This meant he no longer headed the NPA in any way.

The presidency did not want to add comment. The post of NDPP is an appointment made by the president. After the ruling, Nomgcobo Jiba was appointed acting NDPP.

Asked for details following The Times' report, Makeke confirmed Jiba was still acting in the position.

Simelane himself could not be reached for comment.

The Ginwala inquiry, appointed in September 2007, examined, among other things, the way former police commissioner Jackie Selebi's planned arrest was handled by the justice department, the NPA and the presidency, which was at that time headed by Thabo Mbeki. It was tasked with determining former NDPP Vusi Pikoli's fitness to hold office.

Simelane was a justice department director general at the time. - Sapa


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