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Simelane ruling a 'victory for constitution'

The Centre for Constitutional Rights has praised the ruling in Menzi Simelane’s appointment as head of NDPP.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights has praised the ruling in Menzi Simelane’s appointment as head of NDPP.

JOHANNESBURG - Constitutional rights groups on Saturday applauded the judgment that found the appointment of Menzi Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) was invalid.

Simelane was appealing an earlier judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal that found President Jacob Zuma's decision to appoint him "irrational" and "unconstitutional".

Zuma appointed Simelane to the position in November 2009.

The Constitutional Court on Friday said the NDPP's appointment was not a matter to be determined by the subjective opinion of the president.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights said the ruling was a victory for the South African constitution and reaffirmed the values and integrity of the office of the NDPP.

The centre's Johan Kruger said, "The importance of this judgment is going much further than the ruling on Simelane's position. It's the reflection on how the president and how the executive makes decision."

The appointment sparked investigations into Simelane's relationship with Zuma and his understanding of the relationship between the Justice Department and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Zuma has promised to respect the court's decision.