South Africa

NPA slated for ’allowing Premier Zikalala to get away with flouting lockdown laws’

Cape Town – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal has been slammed for deciding not to press ahead with criminal charges brought against Premier Sihle Zikalala for allegedly flouting lockdown regulations last year.

The DA highlighted in a statement on Wednesday that ’’it appears all men are not equal before the law in South Africa'’, with Zikalala being able to ’’get away with holding potential super spreader, illegal events at a hospital, while citizens were arrested for legally buying groceries’’.

On April 27 last year, the DA had laid criminal charges against Zikalala based on the then stage 5 lockdown regulations.

DA state security spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said the premier had called essential workers to what can only be described as a rally at Clairwood Hospital in eThekwini, despite the gazetted regulation on the restrictions of movement, section 11 B (ii) stipulating that ’’every gathering, as defined in regulation 1 is prohibited, except for funeral as provided for in subregulation(8)”.

’’Seven months later, I wrote to the NDPP, Advocate Shamilla Batohi, asking why there had been no progress in this matter.

’’According to the investigating officer, Brigadier Mngcwabe, who I was in contact with weekly, the NPA kept promising a decision, yet not a peep had been forthcoming,“ Kohler Barnard said.

’’To hear today that the matter was quietly slipped under the carpet two months ago, on the 28th of December, without so much as a response to my letter, tells me that men like Zikalala get away with flouting the law, while ordinary South Africans, those without ANC connections, were persecuted without rationality or mercy.

’’We are then left asking whether or not the delay in relation to this case against the Premier showed that the NPA actually prosecutes with fear or favour.

’’It would appear that there are a different set of laws for the powerful and powerfully connected, and another set for the rest of us.

’’All men, it appears, are not equal before the law in South Africa. Men like Zikalala will get away with holding potential super spreader, illegal events at a hospital no less, while citizens were arrested for legally buying groceries.’’

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