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New NPA head must have clean record

A number of experts have stressed the importance of a new NPA head that is scandal free.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Organisations Advocates for Transformation and Lawyers for Human Rights have stressed the importance of the new National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head being scandal free.

Chairperson Dumisa Ntsebeza said it would be an error of judgment for someone with an outstanding complaint against them to be appointed.

"It is important that a person is not only independent, but is seen to be independent."

Jacob van Garderen, National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights said it's very important that the person is seen to be scandal free.

Corruption Watch Chief David Lewis echoed these sentiments.

"You're looking at someone who has a record of independence and who has absolutely no blemishes."

Former Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Willem Heath said it's vital the new NPA head has no scandals hanging over him.

He said the person must be seen as up to the task.

"He must be strong, fit to prosecute and at the same time he must exercise his powers with dignity."

President Jacob Zuma has two more days to comply with the promise he made to the Constitutional Court to appoint a new NPA head, after leaving the post vacant for almost a year.

It's been claimed Zuma wants to appoint Magistrate Stanley Gumede who has outstanding complaints against him at the Magistrates Commission.

Zuma's previous appointment of Menzi Simelane was struck down by the Constitutional Court.

Nomgcobo Jiba has since been acting as National Director of Public Prosecutions, but has indicated she does not want the job on a permanent basis.