Maimane: NPA integrity in tatters

The DA says a justice committee must investigate the allegations against Mxolisi Nxasana.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament must investigate the allegations against National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Wednesday.

It emerged last week that the prosecutions boss, who was appointed to lead the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) last year, was refused a high-level security clearance because of previous brushes with the law.

These include being tried for murder in the 1980s, though he was later acquitted on the grounds of self-defence, and accusations of nepotism and serious traffic offences.

DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane says a justice committee probe must settle the question of whether Nxasana is a fit and proper person to head the NPA or determine if he is the victim of a campaign to advance political ends.

"The political interference in the NPA to date has left our prosecutorial integrity in tatters. The NPA has been left with an extremely poor reputation where South African people do not believe [the organisation] is capable of putting criminals behind bars."

Maimane also says the next round in the court battle over the party's bid to get hold of the so-called "Zuma spy tapes" will unfold in the Supreme Court of Appeal on 15 August.

The party won a North Gauteng High Court order compelling the NPA to hand over the tapes, but the prosecuting authority has since appealed the ruling.

The DA now believes the secret recordings will shed light on whether or not the April 2009 decision to drop fraud and racketeering charges against President Jacob Zuma was rational.

NPA STAFF BACKING NXASANA

Former senior state prosecutor and now DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach says although morale at the NPA is at an all-time low, Nxasana has the backing of the staff.

"The NDPP appears to have a lot of support among staff at the NPA. They believe these new allegations are a red herring to get rid of him."

Breytenbach also says staff members believe that Nxasana's decision to resurrect charges against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli is one of the factors at play.