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ConCourt advises against reinstating Mxolisi Nxasana as NPA boss

This was among the findings delivered on Monday when the court confirmed Nxasana’s settlement package was constitutionally invalid.

FILE: Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - The Constitutional Court has found that allowing former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana to return as national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) would only prolong the instability at National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

This was among the findings delivered on Monday when the court confirmed Nxasana’s settlement package was constitutionally invalid.

The court found that Advocate Shaun Abrahams' subsequent appointment was also invalid and set it aside.

Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga says ordinarily, after finding that Nxasana’s removal from office was invalid, he would be entitled to return as the national director of public prosecutions.

However, the court may deviate from that rule in exceptional circumstances, which is the case here.

“For years, there’s been instability in the office of the NDPP. With the court challenge of Nxasana removal from office and to the appointment of Advocate Abrahams, that instability persists to this day. The sooner it is brought to an end, the better.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa now has 90 days to appoint a new prosecutions boss.

The court also found that former President Jacob Zuma abused his power when he removed Nxasana as head of the NPA.

Madlanga says Zuma’s attempts to remove Nxasana mutated between “carrot and stick strategies”.

“Former President Zuma was bent on getting rid of Mr Nxasana by whatever means he could master.”

Madlanga says Zuma effectively bought Nxasana out of office, which affects Abrahams’ position.

“Advocate Abrahams is a beneficiary of that abuse of power. The law dictates that the NDPP be cleansed of all the ills that have plagued it for the past few years.”

However, the court ruled that Abrahams’ decisions during his tenure will remain valid.

WATCH: Court rules Abrahams’ appointment as NPA boss invalid

REACTION

The Constitutional Court ruling declaring Abrahams’ appointment as prosecution boss invalid has been broadly welcomed by political parties as well as civil society groups.

The ANC’s Pule Mabe believes the ruling will provide President Ramaphosa space to urgently resolve the leadership question at the NPA.

“The restoration of the independence of this key law enforcement agency is critical to the ANC.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane says the court did the right thing.

“It is correct that Mr Abrahams is not fit to hold the position of national director of public prosecutions, and we felt in the previous term there was not impartiality.”

Meanwhile, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse says the Constitutional Court has once against saved South Africa and has highlighted the abuse of power by former President Zuma.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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