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Abrahams appointment was part of Zuma's unlawful scheme‚ court hears

National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams.
National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams.

Shaun Abrahams cannot be allowed to continue as the national director of public prosecutions as this would still leave the result that former president Jacob Zuma sought to achieve‚ lobby group Freedom Under Law
(FUL) said on Wednesday.

The organisation has asked the Constitutional Court to confirm that the R17.3 million settlement that was paid to Abrahams's predecessor‚ Mxolisi Nxasana‚ was invalid. The FUL also wants the court to order Nxasana to repay the money.

The organisation also wants the court to confirm a December Pretoria High Court order that the appointment of Abrahams was invalid.

FUL counsel Wim Trengove SC said Zuma used public money in 2015 to persuade Nxasana to go. Trengove said Zuma abused powers given to him by getting rid of one national director of public prosecutions and replacing him with another.

Trengove said when the NDPP resigned‚ he or she should retire in terms of the Public Service Act and would only be entitled to a public service pension‚ which was far lower than the R17 million offered to Nxasana. Trengove said the National Prosecuting Authority Act did not allow for such a settlement.

“By doing so‚ (Zuma) violated the constitutional requirement of prosecutorial independence enshrined in the constitution. He unlawfully used public money to have his way. He did it all for his personal benefit to minimise the risk of possible prosecution‚” Trengove said.

Trengove said the court must correct and reverse this wrong.

“Any outcome that leaves Mr Abrahams in office would make a mockery of the constitution as it would leave the situation as Mr Zuma intended to be. (Zuma) is accused of acting to protect himself.

“The inference is irresistible: he rid himself of Mr Nxasana as he was exposed to prosecution.”

Abrahams and the NPA are appealing against the order made by the High Court that his appointment was invalid. Their lawyers are still to argue their case before the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

Nxasana also seeks to be reinstated as NDPP and his counsel will argue later on Wednesday.

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