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ABRAHAMS OUT OF NPA: VARIOUS LOBBY GROUPS VOICE THEIR VIEWS

Date: 2018-08-13



Monday's Constitutional Court judgment declaring the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) unconstitutional and invalid has various organisations keeping a watchful eye on the race to find a new National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The court found that former president Jacob Zuma's decision to remove Abrahams' predecessor, Mxolisi Nxasana, from the position was an abuse of power and that Abrahams benefited from that abuse while the Presidency released a statement indicating that it was aware of the order directing President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new NDPP head within 90 days.

Various organisations voiced their opinions.

The FW de Klerk Foundation said, "The court has given President Ramaphosa 90 days in which to do so. This search takes place while senior members in the ranks of the NPA, including Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, still have questions regarding their competency and fitness to hold office."

Regarding the series of court cases regarding allegations of state capture involving the infamous Gupta family that have been lost by the Hawks recently, they said, "Now, more than ever, there is a need for the NPA to reassure the nation of its capabilities in holding both individuals and the state alike accountable."

Freedom Under Law (FUL) and the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF), brought the initial application challenging the termination of Nxasana's appointment and his subsequent R17m payout.

"FUL is confident today's judgment holds out the prospect of a reconstructed, revitalised NPA, with persons of unimpeachable integrity at its helm, able to fully play its vital role in securing criminal justice and constitutional democracy and with the public's confidence that it is able to dispense justice without fear or favour," they said in a comment.

They also praised Nxasana, saying, "FUL salutes Mr Nxasana, without whose assistance the true record of then [former] president Zuma's efforts to oust him from office would never have been disclosed."

The HSF was also happy with the decision: "The judgment upholds the rule of law and brings much-needed stability to the crucial role in the delivery of justice of the National Prosecuting Authority and the Office of the NDPP. The HSF welcomes the judgment and will continue to monitor the implementation of the court's order as regards the structural independence of the NPA."

Tanya Cohen, CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said the judgment provided clarity, adding, "This is a momentous judgment. The efficacy of the NPA is crucial against the backdrop of the upcoming Zondo Commission of Inquiry [into state capture] and the proceedings that have already been instituted against those accused of having had a hand in state capture."

They also added that "an effective NPA was crucial for the functioning of the country".



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