Lobby groups want court to set aside Nxasana removal and settlement

2015-08-06 18:55
Mxolisi Nxasana (Picture: City Press)

Mxolisi Nxasana (Picture: City Press)

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Johannesburg - Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law have approached the High Court in Pretoria to have the decision to remove former NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana declared invalid and set aside.

Additionally, they also want to the see the appointment of Nxasana's replacement, Shaun Abrahams, set aside.

According to court papers filed this week, the groups say under section 96 of the Constitution, President Jacob Zuma did not have the authority to make such a decision.

"It is declared that in terms of section 96[2][b] of the Constitution, the incumbent president may not appoint, suspend or remove the national director of public prosecutions [NDPP].

"It is declared that, as long as the incumbent president is in office, the deputy president is responsible for decisions relating to the appointment, suspension or removal of the NDPP."

The lobby groups submitted that Zuma was therefore disqualified because of a "personal conflict of interest".

This was because of the ongoing matter related to the so-called spy tapes.

Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law further alleged in the papers that Zuma had an objective interest in ensuring that the head of the NPA was someone "sympathetic to his interest if s/he is called upon to make such a discretionary decision".

They wanted the court to make an order declaring that Zuma could not take any decisions regarding the NDPP and that the decision be taken to the deputy president, who would be vested with the authority in the "absence or unavailability of the president".

In June, Nxasana left his position after receiving a R17.3m settlement. He served only 17 months of his 10-year contract.

An inquiry into his fitness to hold office had been scheduled, but was cancelled at the last minute.

The inquiry was to have considered "certain facts", including that in the lead-up to his appointment by President Jacob Zuma, he allegedly failed to reveal aspects of his past, which came to light during a security check after his appointment.

This included assault charges and a murder charge, of which Nxasana was acquitted on the grounds of self defence. He was also reportedly involved in a traffic matter and was the subject of a complaint to the Law Society of KwaZulu-Natal.

Nxasana was later replaced by Abrahams.

According to Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law, if Nxasana's removal was declared invalid, it would mean there was no vacant position. Therefore, Abrahams's appointment should also be set aside. 

The two have also questioned the legality of the R17.3m settlement, which they alleged was a golden handshake.

"There is no legal authority for the payment to Mr Nxasana of R17 357 233."

The groups want the decision to give Nxasana a settlement reviewed and set aside and for the former NDPP to repay the amount to the State.

Read more on:    mxolisi nxasana

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