Anti-corruption groups call for Ramaphosa to appoint new NPA head

Corruption Watch & Freedom Under Law are challenging the legality of R17m paid to Mxolisi Nxasana.

FILE: The National Prosecuting Authority's head office in Pretoria. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Both Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law say they believe the deputy president should have appointed a new head to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) because President Jacob Zuma is legally conflicted from making a proper choice.

Zuma appointed Advocate Shaun Abrahams to the NPA six weeks ago after agreeing that its former head Mxolisi Nxasana would receive R17 million to leave the institution.

The two groups are now challenging the legality of that payment in court.

Corruption Watch head David Lewis says Zuma should not have appointed a new head to the NPA because that person may now have to decide whether he will face corruption charges.

"It's not a decision that the president can take, it's a decision that should be devolved to the deputy president because the president is conflicted."

And he says this payment to Nxasana was illegal.

"The money wasn't legally and validly paid. The money must be paid back and he must be reinstated in the position for which it is being conceded; he is fit and proper."

The presidency is likely to strongly oppose this application as it goes to the heart of the president's power in appointing a head to the NPA.