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NDPP appointment date unknown

The Justice Ministry says it cannot put a time frame on when a new NDPP will be appointed.

Nomgcobo Jiba has been acting as the National Director of Public Prosecutions. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Justice Ministry on Tuesday said it could not put a time frame on when a new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) would be appointed.

Nomgcobo Jiba has been acting in the position since December 2011, when the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Menzi Simelane's appointment was invalid.

It said that President Jacob Zuma's decision was irrational because he appointed Simelane in 2009, after he had been accused of misleading the Ginwala Inquiry while under oath in 2008.

The inquiry, was investigating the fitness of former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Vusi Pikoli's ability to hold office.

It ruled his evidence to it, as a then Justice Department Director General, was "contradictory" and lacked basis in fact or in law.

This decision was confirmed by the Constitutional Court in October 2012.

The process of appointing a new NDPP only kicked into gear in October last year, even though Jiba had already been serving as acting head of NPA for 14 months.

Spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Mthunzi Mhaga, said there was no timeline on when an appointment would be made.

"The NPA is an integral part of the criminal justice system, which is why the appointment of a permanent NDPP is under serious consideration."

Zuma will not want a repeat of the Simelane debacle and will have to ensure that his pick for the crucial position of NPA head is fit and proper.

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