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High Court: Nxasana's termination invalid, new NDPP to be appointed in 60 days

The High Court has found that the termination of former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana’s contract termination was invalid and that he should pay back the R17 million golden handshake.

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

PRETORIA - The High Court has found that the termination of former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana’s contract termination was invalid and that he should pay back the R17 million golden handshake.

However, the court finds it would not be just and equitable for Nxasana to be reinstated, or for incumbent National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, to remain in the post. A new NDPP has to be appointed within 60 days.

But because President Jacob Zuma is facing criminal prosecution himself and is conflicted, he may not appoint the new NDPP. It falls to the deputy president to make the appointment.

The court ruled on Friday in the application by Freedom Under Law and Corruption Watch to set aside Nxasana’s R17-million golden handshake.

The full bench ordered that Nxasana’s settlement agreement be set aside and that he pay back the money but added that it would not be just and equitable if he were to be reinstated.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo has ordered that Abrahams shall no longer be head of the prosecuting authority.

“The appointment of advocate Abrahams as National Director of Public Prosecutions is declared invalid and set aside. Decisions taken and acts performed by Abrahams in his capacity as the National Director of Public Prosecutions are not invalid merely because of the invalidity of his appointment.”

However, the bench further ordered that President Jacob Zuma may have no say over who leads the organisation.

“The incumbent president may not appoint, suspend or remove the National Director of Public Prosecutions or someone in an acting capacity as such, it is declared that as long as the incumbent president is in office, the deputy present is responsible for decisions relating to the appointment, suspension or removal of the National Director of Public Prosecutions.”

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