The real NDPP culprits

2014-06-01 15:00

South Africa’s national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), Mxolisi Nxasana, killed someone. It was 30 years ago. At the time, the court found he had acted in self-defence and acquitted him of murder.

Nobody seems to have known this before he was appointed by President Jacob Zuma last September. This despite the fact that the position had been vacant since the end of 2012 when a damning Constitutional Court judgment forced Menzi Simelane out of office.

Zuma and the then justice minister, Jeff Radebe, had nearly a year to find a “fit and proper person” for the post.

It may be recalled that the October 2012 court judgment found Zuma had acted irrationally in appointing Simelane as his conduct at the Ginwala Commission of Inquiry, and its findings had raised questions about his honesty, integrity and credibility.

The judgment stated strongly that the NDPP had to be a “fit and proper person” in the view of the Constitution and not just “in the objective opinion of the president”.

It stated: “The president?...?should have been alerted by the adverse findings of the Ginwala commission against Mr Simelane and ought to have initiated a further investigation for the purpose of determining whether real and important questions had been raised about his honesty and conscientiousness.”

When Zuma and Radebe went looking for Simelane’s successor, they had the benefit of this judgment to guide them. Instead, they were guided by the need to find a weak and pliable individual.

They overlooked the country’s rich stock of accomplished lawyers and settled for Nxasana.

Without doing any background checks, they catapulted him from his tiny practice into this powerful job. Only nine months later did it come to their attention that the nation’s chief prosecutor once killed a man.

Nxasana is not the culprit for withholding the information. He correctly says he believed the matter was dead and buried because he was acquitted.

The culprits are Zuma and Radebe, who put political considerations above constitutional imperatives when appointing Nxasana.

Had they followed the nation’s supreme law and the lucid and unambiguous 2012 judgment, this crisis would have been averted.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.