Presidency: Zuma in talks with Nxasana

The presidency says Zuma is in talks with Mxolisi Nxasana to take decisions in the best interest of the NPA.

FILE: Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Advocate Nazeer Cassim says it's possible that a deal was struck between the presidency and legal teams for National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mxolisi Nxasana before an inquiry into his suitability for office could start.

Cassim announced this morning that the inquiry has been called off following an instruction from the presidency late last night.

"I have been instructed by the presidency not to continue with the inquiry. The words that were conveyed to me were to cease the inquiry."

Cassim says he met with the legal teams on Saturday where he raised three main issues and advised them to consult with their political principals.

He says the issues are Nxasana's independence, his non-disclosure in his previous assault conviction and whether he is the best person South Africa can produce for the position.

"I suspected as the results of that inquiry, they may go back to their principals and something may come of it. So to be fair, having been in practice for 50 years I'm not surprised these things happen at the last stage."

The presidency says President Jacob Zuma is in talks with the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) with a view to take decisions which are in the best interest of the NPA.

The meetings follow this morning's announcement that the presidency instructed advocate Cassim to cease his inquiry into Nxasana's fitness to hold office

The inquiry was scheduled to start in Centurion today.

Zuma commissioned the probe in February after it emerged last year that Nxasana had allegedly failed to disclose his previous brushes with the law.

While Zuma's office says the president and Nxasana are in talks, it's understood a deal has been struck that will see the NDPP leave his office by next month.

The presidency says it will announce any decision once these meetings have been finalised.

Nxasana's attorney declined to comment at this stage.

While the NPA has confirmed that Nxasana is at work today, it has referred questions to the Presidency.