Lawyer: Mxolisi Nxasana's submissions central to settlement matter

Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law have approached the court in Pretoria to review and set aside Mxolisi Nxasana’s R17 million settlement package.

FILE: Former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - Former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Mxolisi Nxasana has told the High Court that it’s in the interests of justice that his submissions in an application to set aside his golden handshake be admitted despite being filed late.

Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law have approached the court in Pretoria to review and set aside Nxasana’s R17 million settlement package.

The former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) left office in 2015 after entering an agreement with President Jacob Zuma, which the parties argue was unlawful and unconstitutional.

They want Nxasana to pay back the money and be reinstated as head of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Nxasana’s counsel, advocate Michelle le Roux, says her client’s submissions are central to the case being heard.

“Given the document’s relevance and its centrality of the question before this court, we would say it has clearly been demonstrated that it is relevant to the relief being sorted here.”

Le Roux added that no unfairness has resulted in the late filing of Nxasana’s affidavit.

At the same time, Freedom Under Law has argued that Nxasana did not ask President Zuma if he could leave office, which is a legal requirement to release the national director of public prosecutions from his duties.

Advocate Wim Trengove says Zuma first tried to bully advocate Nxasana by threatening him with a commission of inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

He says when the stick didn’t work, Zuma turned to the carrot by offering Nxasana a payout, which he termed a "bribe".

Trengove referred to an email from the president’s attorney Michael Hulley in which he sent a settlement offer to the advocate but with the sum left blank.

Hulley stated in the email that he was waiting for Nxasana to state the final amount.

Trengove says this is the equivalent of the president saying “name your price”.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter and Winnie Theletsane)