NPA, ID chief investigator and ‘sidekick’ ‘threatened and harassed’ accused

There have recently been complaints about the units being used to fight and target all those who are believed to be against the political principals.

There have recently been complaints about the units being used to fight and target all those who are believed to be against the political principals.

Published Mar 24, 2024


Allegations of corruption, intimidation and trumped-up charges are the order of the day with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its specialised and multidisciplinary unit, the Investigating Directorate (ID).

There have recently been complaints about the units being used to fight and target all those who have opposing political principals

One case in point is the former ANC secretary-general and Free State premier Ace Magashule who had come out and criticised the law enforcement agencies for being used to settle political scores.

Magashule had revealed that his corruption case was politically connected which he said was later told he was charged with a poor oversight of Free State Human Settlements Department, which issued a tender during his time as premier.

He argued that there was no legal basis for corruption charges that were brought against him.

Currently, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has also accused the NPA and ID of being used to fight political battles.

In her affidavit, Mapisa-Nqakula sought to highlight the “lacunas, abnormalities and irregularities” in the case – “there is none” also questioning the NPA’s conduct on the matter.

“The ultimate purpose of this application is to protect my constitutional rights in respect, inter alia, to freedom, and dignity, including my rights to good name and reputation and self-esteem as well as to pursue a vocation of my choosing,” said Mapisa-Nqakula in her affidavit that’s part of the court papers filed in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

“I have devoted much of my adult life to the pursuit of the rule of law and constitutional democracy, and the demise of the security state in South Africa. The machinery of the criminal justice system and the state’s prerogative of prosecution was abused and used as a political tool then.

“I fear that this practice has once again reared its ugly head and, if not stopped, carries the real risk of further fraying the constitutional fabric of our young democracy,” she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula further said the state’s representatives, chief investigator Dylan Perumal and Sergeant Suneel Bellochun, were indicative of an abuse of process, adding that their intentions were to sway public opinion in triggering the ANC’s “step-aside rule” by charging her and humiliating her in the media.

It’s not the first time both Perumal and Bellochun have been accused of abusing their position to threaten accused as they had abused their position when they went to arrest Lorette Joubert back in 2018 prior to her arrest in 2020 for something that she claimed she knew nothing about it.

Joubert said she had to encounter Bellochun when they came to her office premises with a supposedly “search warrant” that she was not given time to read as Bellochun was busy screaming at her.

She detailed how the investigator kept on screaming at her about jailing her up for 30 years.

Joubert also recalled how Bellochun made a call to someone asking them to bring a warrant of arrest.

She continued to say, the investigator later threw a paper on the desk screaming at her, saying that she was not “black”.

“He then pulled a document from the file and threw it on the table pointing to the document, saying “can you see you are not f*****g black’.

“At this stage I was horrified and scared at his behaviour being a female person whose previous husband was violent and aggressive.

“I did recognise later that it was a BB-BEE certificate, however, Suneel (Belochun) did not give me an opportunity to read it. Suneel asked me if I have a mirror at the office and I replied that there are mirrors in the bathrooms.

“Suneel then pulled me by my wrist with force and took me along to the bathrooms and pushed me in front of the mirror and screamed at me saying, “can you see that you are not F.. Black,” she detailed.

In June last year, Joubert laid a complainant against Bellochun of torture, assault, harassment, crime injuria, intimidation, and gender-based violence, with the National Commissioner’s office with no luck.

When this publication approached chief investigator Perumal for comment, he said he was not allowed to talk to reporters.

“Good afternoon, as you are obviously aware, members of the Investigating Directorate do not communicate with reporters regarding any of our investigations. Kindly conduct your enquiries through the NPA’s official spokesperson,” he said.

Political analyst, Andre Duvenage, questioned the process followed by the NPA/ ID, adding that it was questionable.

Duvenage said the country has a history of law enforcement playing a political role by either acting nor not acting where they were supposed to act.

“There has not been significant improving the law enforcement neutrality under President Cyril Ramaphosa, that we can say these law enforcement agencies are non-political, independent, and effective.

“Unfortunately, that is currently not the case and I honestly think majority of South Africans are questioning about the impact and the work done by the institution like the NPA/ID and their related leadership,” he concluded.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw referred enquiries to ID spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga who did not respond to questions that we sent to him by the time of publication

The Star