National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams has denied that the NPA delayed the investigation into state capture, thus letting the Gupta brothers leave the country before they could be arrested.
According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Abrahams said the NPA is not "politically captured".
MPs questioned Abrahams and acting Hawks boss Yolisa Matakata after she claimed that the NPA delayed the arrest of the Guptas, and that the Hawks were ready to make arrests in November last year.
Times Select previously reported that the Hawks held back on going public with the fact that warrants of arrest were issued for Atul and Ajay Gupta, in a bid to lure them back into the country. Ajay Gupta is a fugitive from the law abroad. But Atul and Rajesh reportedly left South Africa as the NPA gave the Hawks permission to arrest them.
"For anybody to say the NPA is politically captured, they'll have to be more specific and provide direct evidence and say so and so is captured and by whom," Abrahams reportedly said.
He said he was not involved in deciding who should be arrested.
"I don't make the decisions as to who should be arrested or who should not be arrested. This is part of the misinformation, a narrative that's been put out there which is completely incorrect."
Abrahams also denied Matakata's claims that there was tension between the police and prosecutors over the handling of the Estina case.
"I don't make the decisions as to who should be arrested or who should not be arrested."
The Citizen reported that, according to Abrahams, the docket handed over by the Hawks in November last year was not sufficient to make arrests.
A financial report handed to the NPA in December also did not add up to the bank statements at the disposal of prosecutors, and the Hawks accepted that this meant further investigation was necessary. Police and prosecutors agreed to make the arrests in February, he reportedly said.
He also hinted that there could be more state capture arrests, TimesLive reported.
"The matter is still the subject of an investigation. If the investigation ultimately warrants that more people must be added as accused persons or be charged separately‚ then that process will take place‚" he reportedly said.
Matakata also reportedly backtracked on her remarks.
"The work of the DPCI (Hawks) was never hindered by the NPA ... There was a hindering in that context of people taken to court‚ but not necessarily that [the] NPA hindered the work of the DPCI (Hawks)," she said.