Presidency studying Con Court’s Abrahams judgment

Shaun Abrahams

The Presidency on Monday said it had noted a judgment by the Constitutional Court which declared as invalid the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as National Director of Public Prosecutions.

“The presidency is currently studying the judgment‚ cognisant of the order of the Court directing the president to appoint a National Director of Prosecutions (NDPP) within 90 days of this order‚” the presidency said in a statement.

The judgment declared as invalid and unconstitutional the removal of Abrahams’s predecessor‚ Mxolisi Nxasana‚ but declined to reinstate Nxasana.

“In studying this judgment‚ the presidency is guided by the undertaking given by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the February 2018 State of the Nation Address that South Africa’s law enforcement institutions would be strengthened and shielded from external interference or manipulation‚” the presidency said.

It said Ramaphosa also undertook that urgent attention would be given to leadership issues at the NPA – this “to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered”.

The Constitution gives the president a power to appoint a National Director of Public Prosecutions as head of the national executive.

“Steps to be taken arising from the Constitutional Court judgment will be communicated in due course.”

South Africa’s highest court ruled on August 13 2018 that Advocate Shaun Abrahams was not validly appointed to lead the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) because he had benefited from former President Jacob Zuma’s abuse of power. Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga, writing on behalf of the Constitutional Court’s majority, found that Zuma had used a R17,3 million “golden handshake” to get rid of former NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana.

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