Gupta case: NPA denies application for postponement a 'delaying tactic'
Bloemfontein - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has dismissed arguments by lawyers representing Gupta linked companies and individuals who claimed that their application for postponement was a delaying tactic and indication the state did not have a strong case.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told journalists after the Free State High Court postponed the matter to May 17 that the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) had no intention to delay the case unnecessarily but wanted sufficient time prepare and allow the appointed counsel Wim Trengove clear his diary.
“We believe that the postponement is in the interest of just,” said Mfaku.
“You must recall that the National Director has the prerogative to decide who represents him. In this case, our advocate is busy and therefore we had to postpone. Remember, they (the applicants) have engaged the services of senior counsel. Why should we bring juniors when we have got senior counsel? "We have to engage in equal footing,” he added.
On the issue of the obliterate attack of the state case by the applicants who claimed in court that the state didn’t have a strong case, hence the delays, Mfaku dismissed it saying it was in the nature of any accused.
“Where have you ever the accused saying the state has a strong case? It’s the language that you get. They must come to the court arena and file their papers and we will file ours and will allow the presiding officers to adjudicate. It is the responsibility of the presiding officer to stipulate whether we have a strong case or not. It’s not for them… implicated and we are hitting them where it hurts most, that’s why are coming up with these ridiculous assertions,” said Mfaku.
Granting the postponement, Judge Phillip Jacobus Loubser said the case was of a complicated nature and the NDPP should be granted a fair chance to prepare.
He said denying the NDPP the application for postponement would be grossly unfair. The NDPP should be afforded the postponement in the interest of justice said the judge.
The NDPP was ordered to pay the costs for application.