ADVOCATE SHAUN Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority was appointed unconstitutionally and should be removed.
That’s according to the Constitutional Court judgement yesterday, in a dramatic move that has set pigeons against the cats.
As such the Concourt has also ordered President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa to appoint a new NPA head within a space of 90 days.
The Constitutional Court found on Monday that the appointment of Abrahams was invalid because he had benefited from former president Jacob Zuma’s abuse of power.
The ruling party issued a statement supporting the Concourt’s judgement:” The ANC believes that the judgement provides President Cyril Ramaphosa with the necessary space to move with speed and urgency to resolve the leadership question at the NPA.
What is critical for the ANC is the restoration of the independence, integrity and credibility of this key law-enforcement agency. Anything that compromises the independence of the NPA will undermine its credibility and lead to a serious erosion of the rule of law.”
Freedom Under Law (FUL) and the Helen Suzman Foundation also welcomed the judgement.
“FUL‚ together with Corruption Watch‚ brought the initial application to challenge the termination and settlement‚ believing these subverted the independence of the NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions) and the NPA‚” said FUL.
“FUL is confident [the] 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.”
The Helen Suzman Foundation said it “welcomes the judgment and will continue to monitor the implementation of the court’s order as regards the structural independence of the NPA.”
The court found both the manner in which former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head, Mxolisi Nxasana, vacated office and the subsequent appointment of Shaun Abrahams to be unconstitutional and invalid.
Nxasana has been ordered to pay back over R10million, according to Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga, saying the payout Nxasana received to vacate office was unlawful.
According to NPA national spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku, Abrahams had also given up his practice of 16 years when he went to the NPA.
“For me, I have to go back to practise [law]. I can tell you it has been very tough. For the whole three years, my life has been hanging, because I didn’t know what to do. I am a practitioner by profession, but I couldn’t go back full time to [the] profession. I’m gravely disappointed by the outcome,” said Abrahams.
Economic Freedom Fighter also welcomed the decision and called for a speedy appointment of NPA head by Pres Ramaphosa.
“Why wait for 90-days when Ramaphosa should by now have an idea who will fill the shoes at NPA?” asked the party’s spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Former head Vusi Pikoli has denied rumours that he might be headed back at the controversial authority.