Political parties have lambasted the director of public prosecutions at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Andrew Chauke, accusing him of interference regarding the imminent arrest of NJM Heat Treatment & NDE Services (NJM) directors.
Chauke was allegedly instrumental in preventing the arrest of Alexander Elias Roditis, Mark Douglas Smith, Vanessa Chungu, Guy Phillip Le Roux, Ronald James Hoy and Raymond Crozier – all directors of NJM in December last year.
This comes after Chauke blocked the arrest of the six directors of NJM, who stand accused of committing BEE fraud, where they have used blacks as fronts in their business.
Sunday World published a series of articles last year in relation to NJM’s fraudulent activities.
Xiluva leader Bongani Baloyi said: “If there is clear evidence and valid reasons to believe that advocate Andrew Chauke intentionally obstructed the course of justice in this case, then he should be charged with defeating the ends of justice. President Cyril Ramaphosa must remove him from office immediately.”
He added: “Criticism faced by Chauke, particularly regarding his handling of high-profile cases, including this one, has harmed his reputation and created doubts about the fairness and effectiveness of the legal system.”
Baloyi said this criticism undermined public trust and confidence in the system’s ability to deliver justice. “It is essential for the integrity of our justice system that individuals like Chauke, who may have alliances and personal relationships that could compromise impartiality, are not in positions of power to influence legal cases.
“This will ensure justice is served and that the public’s trust in the system is restored. Legal professionals have a responsibility to uphold the law and ensure that those who engage in criminal activities are appropriately held accountable,” he said.
ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba said that he was not surprised by Chauke’s interference.
“As a former mayor of Johannesburg, I am not really surprised. When I was a mayor, there was a case against the Joburg councillor Dan Bovu, who sold the municipal land to people, and through council intervention we got him arrested. However, Bovu was arrested but he never spent even a night in jail. Few months later, ANC’s Tshidi Mfikoe told me that the case was thrown out of court,” said Mashaba.
Mashaba said Chauke was collapsing the NPA through his interference.
Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, the ANC spokesperson, said: “We don’t provide commentary on the internal machinations of state organisations and institutions. Please refer to the relevant government departments.”
Last year in December we reported that NJM’s suspects had a joy of having splendid Christmas and New Year’s Eve after Chauke had stopped their arrest, citing they will only present their submissions next month, instead of being arrested.
Instead of the suspects being nabbed after investigations led by Lieutenant-Colonel Dlamini, Chauke allegedly insisted the accused be given a chance to submit warning statements before the arrest warrants could be issued and executed.
It is alleged Chauke struck a deal with the directors’ attorney, Ian Small-Smith, that the |latter would secure warning statements
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said: “Adv Chauke was never involved in any decision making process in the case against NJM and therefore there is no merit in any call for an investigation which would clearly be a witch-hunt by those hell bent at vilifying him unjustly.”