Zuma accepts Simelane ruling, appoints Jiba

2011-12-28 22:15
Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday accepted the court ruling that struck down his appointment of Menzi Simelane as national director of public prosecutions, and named Simelane's deputy Nomgcobo Jiba to act in the post.

"President Jacob Zuma accepts the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal which declared the appointment of the national director for public prosecutions, Menzi Simelane, invalid," his office said.

"The president has therefore decided not to appeal the decision."

A letter to the Constitutional Court signalling this decision, and obtained by Sapa, is dated December 23.

This shows that the president's U-turn came just a day after the government filed papers with the Constitutional Court last week opposing the ruling.

His choice of replacement could prove controversial.

Jiba earlier this month briefly acted as head of the special investigating unit after Willem Heath quit.

But she was abruptly replaced with Advocate Nomvula Mokhatla amid reports that Justice Minister Jeff Radebe had failed to consult Zuma before naming her. Radebe denied this.

Jiba was previously suspended from the national prosecuting authority after allegedly assisting a police investigation into her colleague and senior prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

The presidency said Simelane had been placed on special leave pending a review by the Constitutional Court of the December 1 ruling that declared his appointment by Zuma two years ago unconstitutional.

The appeal court found that Zuma and Radebe failed to consider misgivings about Simelane, expressed by the Ginwala Inquiry into the fitness of his sidelined predecessor Vusi Pikoli to hold office.

It added that even if the president had duly weighed those concerns, he could not have concluded that Simelane was suitable for the post.

"On the available evidence, the president could in any event not have reached a conclusion favourable to Mr Simelane, as there were too many unresolved questions concerning his integrity and experience," Judge Mahomed Navsa said.

"The president took a decision in respect of which he ignored relevant considerations. By doing so he misconstrued his powers and acted irrationally."

The unanimous appeal court ruling is set for review by the Constitutional Court.

This is required in terms of section 167 (5) of the Constitution which stipulates that a finding that legislation or an act by the president is unconstitutional only comes into force once it is confirmed by the higher court.

However, last Thursday Zuma, Radebe, the National Prosecuting Authority and Simelane filed papers contesting the appeal court ruling.

Legal experts described the government's decision to term its written submissions to the court an appeal as confusing, given the fact that the law necessitates an automatic review.

The next day, Zuma served notice to the Constitutional Court that he was withdrawing his application and would not oppose confirmation of the appeal court ruling.

The Democratic Alliance, which launched the successful two-year court bid to unseat Simelane, on Wednesday welcomed the president's change of heart and said it hoped he would appoint "someone of unimpeachable character and proven experience".

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj indicated that despite Zuma's decision, Radebe would seek clarity from the Constitutional Court on issues raised in the appeal court judgment.

"Mr Jeff Radebe will pursue the matter, seeking clarity on various issues in the course of the mandatory Constitutional Court certification process, with the full support of the President."

Radebe's spokesperson was not available for comment.

The Constitutional Court said last week it had yet to set a date to hear the matter.

- SAPA
Read more on:    siu  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  jacob zuma  |  menzi simelane  |  willem heath  |  jeff radebe
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.