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ConCourt finds Shaun Abrahams' appointment as NPA boss invalid

The Constitutional Court is handing down judgment on Shaun Abrahams' future as the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has confirmed that Advocate Shaun Abrahams' appointment as prosecutions boss is constitutionally invalid.

Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga found that the manner in which former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana vacated office was invalid and therefore it had a knock-on effect on Abrahams' appointment.

Madlanga found that former President Jacob Zuma was bent on removing Nxasana at all costs and effectively bought him out with a R17 million settlement.

The judge found that this compromised the independence of the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, which rendered his vacation of office invalid.

The Constitutional Court has ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions within 90 days.

The order was made after the court confirmed former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana’s leaving office was invalid, as was Shaun Abrahams’ subsequent appointment.

The apex court was highly critical of former President Jacob Zuma, finding that he had abused his power.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has three months to appoint a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga found that it would not be in the interests of the NPA that Nxasana be allowed to return to his position.

Madlanga says that an order that prolongs the instability at the NPA would not be just and equitable.

"For years there has been instability in the office of the NDPP. With a court challenge to Mr Nxasana's vacation of office and to the appointment of Advocate Abrahams, that instability persists to this day. The sooner it is brought to an end, the better."

The court found that former Zuma did everything in his power to have Nxasana removed from office.

Madlanga found that Nxasana was effectively bought out, which compromised the independence of the office of the NDPP.

"Former President Zuma appointed Advocate Abrahams following his unlawful removal of Mr Nxasana. That removal was an abuse of power. Advocate Abrahams is a beneficiary of that abuse of power. It matters not that he was unaware of the abuse of power. The rule of law dictates that the office of the NDPP be cleansed of all the ills that have plagued it for the past few years."

The court further ordered Nxasana to repay the R10 million he has already received as part of his settlement.

WATCH: ConCourt rules on Shaun Abrahams' future as NPA boss

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