There were no prospects of successful prosecution in Ramaite's drunk driving case - NPA

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the State declined to prosecute newly elected prosecutions boss Silas Ramaite for a drunk driving case because there "were no prospects of a successful prosecution".

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Ramaite as Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions on Tuesday after former head Shaun Abrahams was forced to vacate his office following a Constitutional Court ruling on Monday.

The court found that Abrahams' appointment was invalid because his predecessor, Mxolisi Nxasana, was wrongfully removed by then president Jacob Zuma.

READ: Silas Ramaite appointed as acting NPA head

Ramaite was arrested between Levubu and Elim in Limpopo for drunk driving in 2011.

At the time, it was reported that Ramaite allegedly crashed his luxury Jaguar into a Nissan 1400 bakkie.

Then Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said blood samples revealed that Ramaite was driving under the influence.

He was released on R1 000 bail the following day. 

Files lost

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told News24 on Thursday that a chief prosecutor for the Pretoria cluster was requested to allocate this case to a senior prosecutor from the same cluster after there were allegations that Ramaite was well-known in the Limpopo province and justice "might not be seen to be done".

Mfaku said advocate Sanet Jacobson was tasked with conducting the prosecution of the case after she received the docket in August 2013.

"After consultation with the two police officials and the complainant, the prosecutors established on their evidence that more than three hours expired before the blood was drawn.

"The doctor submitted the reports of the blood-drawing only on 5 September 2011, three months after the incident, after the initial reports and hospital files got lost," Mfaku said.

He said the doctor relied on his memory to complete the forms in respect of time and observations.

Mfaku said there were there were "irreconcilable discrepancies" in their evidence, adding that there were also material discrepancies in respect of the blood kit serial numbers.

Drivers appeared 'fine'

"This is significant, and the blood reports would not be admissible in light of the above reasons. During consultation, both SAPS members indicated that had the complainant not alleged the issue of drunkenness, they would have dealt with the accident and the matter as one of possible reckless and negligent driving," he said.

According to him, a police sergeant said she had taken blood samples from both Ramaite and from the bakkie driver, as both had disputed being drunk.

A constable at the scene had said both drivers appeared "fine".

"The State declined to prosecute on the basis that there were no prospects of a successful prosecution in 2013. SSA [State Security Agency] conducted a vetting investigation in June 2015 and Dr Ramaite was awarded a security clearance," he said.

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