Simelane 'qualified' for his post

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the appointment of advocate Menzi Simelane was illegal.

Advocate Menzi Simelane.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court heard arguments on Tuesday that the law clearly states advocate Menzi Simelane should have passed certain legal hurdles before taking up his position as National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Justice Ministry, however, argued he had passed those so-called hurdles, despite the Ginwala Commmission's findings that he behaved dishonestly.

The commission, which was chaired by former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala, slammed Simelane while he was still director-general in the Justice Department.

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled his appointment as NDPP was illegal.

Simelane now wants the Constitutional Court to overturn that decision.

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) advocate Roger Owens used a reference to the law to make his point.

"If one is to be guided by the heading of section nine of the NPA Act, it says, qualification for appointment."

He claimed Simelane failed to meet those qualifications.

The Justice Ministry's counsel Marumo Moerane argued, the decision was based on the view that he was competent, saying the appointment was "based on their knowledge of Mr Simelane, with regard to his experience and his conscientiousness."