Supreme court rules Zuma’s appointment of chief prosecutor ‘invalid’

FILE Former South African President Jacob Zuma in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering

Meanwhile, former National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana says he is disappointed that the court did not reinstate him to his former position.

The court had come to this conclusion after it found that the termination of then NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana's term of office was not done lawfully and as such Abrahams's appointment as the head of the NPA as well as Nxasana's R17 million "golden handshake" were invalid.

Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga found that the manner in which former prosecutions boss Nxasana vacated office was invalid and therefore it had a knock-on effect on Abrahams' appointment.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams.

The apex court was highly critical of former President Jacob Zuma, finding that he had abused his power.

Though the Constitutional Court upheld the high court's order, the judgment found that the high court was wrong not to consider Nxasana's evidence about his removal, because it was filed too late.

"The importance of the office of the NDPP in the administration of justice is underscored and amplified by no less an instrument that the Constitution itself", Madlanga explained.

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The court further directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new NPA boss within 90 days.

Also in accordance with the high court's decision, the appointment of Abrahams in Nxasana's stead was declared invalid.

Madlanga found that Nxasana was effectively bought out, which compromised the independence of the office of the NDPP.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has three months to appoint a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), reports EWN's Barry Bateman.

Abrahams appealed the decision along with former president Jacob Zuma. Advocate Abrahams is a beneficiary of that abuse of power.

Nxasana has to pay back R10-million to the State and he will not be appointed back into office.

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