Did someone at the Presidency fib when they denied ever receiving a letter urging President Jacob Zuma to suspend National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams or face legal action?
Attorneys for Freedom Under Law (FUL) and the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) wrote a letter to Zuma on November 1‚ giving the president an ultimatum to suspend Abrahams‚ prosecutors Torrie Pretorius and Sibongile Mzinyathi‚ pending enquiries into their fitness to hold office.
The deadline to respond was Monday at 4pm.
The Presidency said on Monday afternoon that it had learnt about the letter “from media reports”.
“The Presidency has checked its records and has no record of receipt of this correspondence. The matter will be attended to once the letter has been delivered to the Presidency‚” it said in a statement.
Not true‚ said Francis Antonie‚ director of the Helen Suzman Foundation. “The letter was acknowledged. Receipt of the letter by the presidency was acknowledged‚” he told eNCA (http://www.enca.com/) on Tuesday.
Antonie said the letter had been sent to various official email addresses‚ including the Presidency.
“It seems to me the best reading of this is an extraordinary administrative chaos in the Presidency if multiple letters are sent and they can’t find their way to the president‚” he said.
“This is alarming in the first instance. We’re also aware‚ and this is to give another interpretation of it‚ that this administration has been characterised by delay after delay after delay and it would be foolish of me not consider whether or not this is a delaying tactic. I can’t say that it is but I have to consider that.”
FUL and HSF seem set to proceed on Tuesday with court action to get Abrahams suspended.