OUTA says the Free State High Court’s judgment in the R25-million Nulane fraud and corruption case should be a lesson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Judge Nompulelelo Gusha acquitted one person and discharged the case against five others and two companies.
R25 million was paid by the Free State Department of Agriculture to Nulane Investment between 2011 and 2012 to conduct a feasibility study for the province’s Mohoma Mobung flagship project.
The Nulane case was NPA’s first state capture case to go to trial.
Charges against Nulane fraud accused dismissed:
OUTA Executive Director, Stefanie Fick says a lot of South Africans are disappointed by the court’s outcome.
“I think there’s a message for the NPA, the ID, and the SAPS, you need to get your house in order, you have an obligation to fight on behalf of each South African that finds them in a position, where there a victim of crimes. As South Africans, we’re victims of state capture, of corruption, and corruption has managed to create a lot of havoc. I hope that the NPA takes this seriously, takes this as a lesson, and that the next person we see in court that they will be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is guilty.”
Corruption Watch says if the NPA fails to learn a lesson from the judgment, then the country will witness other state capture cases fail.
Corruption Watch’s Executive Director, Karam Singh, says, “This points to the fact that we’re still living in an era of the state capture, where those fundamentally responsible for this treason, whether it would be former President Jacob Zuma, or the Gupta brothers, remain unaccountable, facing no consequences for the misdeeds. It remains to be seen what this discharge and the failure to extradite the Guptas, will mean for the remaining cases. The NPA cannot keep telling us that they’ve got this and everything is in order. To save the remaining cases, the NPA must draft in the best and brightest legal minds in the country to effectively prosecute these cases. The skills required to pursue these cases effectively, reside within the country, but they don’t reside within the NPA.”