When it comes to some of its most politically sensitive cases, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is spending nearly all of its time defending its decisions to prosecute in the first place, and not actually putting anyone on trial. The credibility crisis gripping the NPA for nearly a decade has fuelled half a dozen legal challenges to the state’s determination to press on with prosecutions of people perceived to be in the political firing line. From former top SA Revenue Service (Sars) official Johann van Loggerenberg to Cato Manor serious and violent crime unit police officials, to politically connected KwaZulu-Natal businessperson Thoshan Panday and former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen, the accused in some of the NPA’s most high-profile cases have argued that the state’s decisions to prosecute them were irrational and unlawful. EFF leader Julius Malema is fighting to have the law used by the NPA to charge him with inciting people to occupy land — the apartheid-era R...

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