ACDP MP and member of the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committees welcomed today's Constitutional Court finding that former President Jacob Zuma had abused his powers in entering a settlement agreement with former NPA head, Mr Mvolisi Nxasana, resulting in him vacating office, and Adv Shaun Abrahams being appointed in his place.
Swart said that “the ACDP welcomes today's ruling by the Constitutional Court which declared the settlement agreement, the obligation to pay R17,3 million to former NPA head, Mr Mvolisi Nxasana, and his resultant vacation of office, constitutionally invalid for being inconsistent with the constitutionally required independence of the office of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). This resulted in the consequent appointment of Adv Shaun Abrahams as NDPP also being declared invalid.
This is an important judgement as it enhances the independence of the NPA by finding that the payment of golden handshakes to remove troublesome NDPPs (as was the case with Mr Nxasana) is unconstitutional and thus invalid.
Security of tenure for the NDPP and his deputies is crucial for the independence of the institution. The ACDP thus also welcomes the finding that section 12 of the NPA Act, relating to the indefinite suspension of the NDPP and deputies, is also unconstitutional - indefinite suspensions also affects security of tenure and thus the independence of the NPA.
The ACDP calls on President Ramaphosa to speedily appoint a new NDPP to resolve leadership issues at the NPA. The new NDPP must be fiercely independent and able to oversee the initiation of prosecutions arising from widespread fraud, corruption and state capture - much of which involves high level political involvement.”
ISSUED BY: STEVE SWART MP
13 August 2018