NPA & Presidency mum on Nxasana settlement saga

A court application to overturn Mxolisi Nxasana receiving over R17m to resign as NPA head has been filed.

FILE: The new National Director of Public Prosecutions of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) advocate Shaun Abrahams at the NPA's head office in Pretoria on 7 July 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Both the Presidency and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said they're not going to comment at the moment on an application by Freedom Under Law and Corruption Watch to overturn the agreement that saw Mxolisi Nxasana receiving over R17 million to resign as NPA head.

On Thursday, the two organisations said that they believed that President Jacob Zuma's appointment of advocate Shaun Abrahams as the new head of the NPA was illegal because Nxasana's settlement is invalid.

The presidency said it will wait to see what application is lodged in court before it's able to respond to these claims by the organisations.

Corruption Watch head David Lewis said 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."

But it seems very likely that the presidency will oppose this application.

The two groups claim that president Zuma should not actually have the power to appoint Abrahams because he's now legally conflicted, and the person who runs the NPA may have to decide whether he faces corruption charges.

They say that in fact Zuma should have passed on the duties to his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

This issue goes to the heart of both the claims against Zuma allegations that he has manipulated the NPA and the powers granted to him under the Constitution.