PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted the resignation of the North West Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Moipone Noko.
Noko officially tendered her resignation in February.
Noko’s resignation comes as the state heads to trial with the corruption case against Durban businessman Toshan Panday and several members of his immediate family and former police top brass in KwaZulu Natal over rigged logistics contracts worth R47 million in the run-up to the 2010 soccer world cup.
Last year in November, National Director of Public Prosecutions Adv Shamila Batohi, supported by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola, requested president Ramaphosa to institute an inquiry into Noko’s fitness to hold office and to suspend her pending the outcome of the inquiry.
“Having considered this request, the President agreed that an inquiry be held,” said presidential spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, in a statement.
“In a communication dated 9 February 2021 and channelled through the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the President requested Adv Noko to provide written reasons why she should not be suspended pending the institution and finalisation of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.”
“As a matter of courtesy, on 11 February 2021, the National Prosecuting Authority, as the employer, informed Adv Noko that she should expect to receive the letter from the President. On 14 February 2021, Adv Noko requested permission to vacate her office.
Batohi’s request to the president to institute an inquiry into Noko’s fitness to hold office, followed the publication of what has become known as the De Kock Report.
“This report was compiled by an expert panel in the context of the NDPP’s review of the authorisations of Advocates Jiba and Abrahams to institute a racketeering prosecution, in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, against General Johan Booysen, former head of the KwaZulu-Natal Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (the Hawks), and other police officials,” said Seale.
“Concerns arose with regard to the conduct of certain NPA officials, including Adv Noko. The National Director evaluated the findings made in the De Kock report, as well as certain High Court judgments. Legal opinion was also sought from private counsel who, after evaluation, advised that the matter be referred to the President to consider instituting an inquiry.”
Noko left her KwaZulu Natal post in 2019 after a year at the helm of prosecutions in the province and was shifted to North West.
During her time in KZN she endured severe criticism for dropping charges against high ranking politicians and politically connected persons – most notably Umhlanga businessman Panday and senior police officers in the Fifa 2010 World Cup graft scandal.
During the same period she decided to charge former KwaZulu Natal Hawks’ head Johan Booysen and detectives of the Cato Mano and Port Shepstone organised crime units with racketeering, murder and robbery in the since discredited “Cato Manor death squad” saga.
Booysen was investigating Panday and the cops and their alleged involvement in corruption at the time.
(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)