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Ramaphosa ordered to appoint new NPA head 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.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

PRETORIA - 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.