Press Release: Nxasana High Court Judgment

The Helen Suzman Foundation notes the judgment in the case brought by Corruption Watch, Freedom under Law and CASAC against the President, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Shaun Abrahams and the National Prosecuting Authority.

The Helen Suzman Foundation acted as an amicus (friend of the Court) in the matter.

The case centres on the lawfulness or otherwise of the departure of Mr Mxolisi Nxasana as head of the NPA and the subsequent appointment of Mr Shaun Abrahams to that position.

We particularly welcome the Court providing clarity on sections 12(6) and 12(8) which formed part of the HSF’s submission.

The judgment in the main sets aside and declares invalid the termination of the appointment of Mr Nxasana, the appointment of Mr Abrahams and further orders Mr Nxasana to pay back all money received in terms of the settlement.  The Court declared certain provisions of the NPA Act unconstitutional.  These orders of invalidity are referred to the Constitutional Court for confirmation.

Judge President Mlambo made the following pronouncement:

“In our view President Zuma would be clearly conflicted in having to appoint a NDPP, given the background to which we have referred, particularly the ever-present spectre of the many criminal charges against him that have not gone away.  There is no longer any obstacle in the way of the criminal charges proceeding.”

Consequently, the Deputy President is now responsible for appointing the new NDPP, which he must do within 60 days.  Mr Abrahams remains in office pending the new appointment or the expiration of the 60 days, whichever comes first.

To read the full judgment click here.

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