NPA boss Nxasana throws in the towel

2015-05-31 08:10
Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: Alet Pretorius

Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: Alet Pretorius

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The national director of public prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana, has finally conceded defeat.

Five highly placed sources both inside and close to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed Nxasana’s departure.

One said that a small, “emotional” farewell gathering was held for Nxasana on Friday during his last day at the NPA’s offices in Silverton, Pretoria. Nxasana invited only a few trusted colleagues to his farewell function.

Nxasana’s former legal adviser, advocate Thulani Duma, left his position on Thursday and remains on leave. He is expected to return to his old job at the asset forfeiture unit in Durban.

Former NPA spokesperson Velekhaya Mgobhozi, who is close to Nxasana, also left the NPA headquarters on Friday.

He is expected to return to his old job as a prosecutor in KwaZulu-Natal after a new spokesperson was appointed.

Two senior sources within the NPA said one of Nxasana’s four deputies, Silas Ramaite, is expected to be appointed as acting head by President Jacob Zuma tomorrow.

“The resignation is as a result of a settlement between the president’s legal adviser Michael Hulley and Nxasana’s lawyer Busani Mabunda,” said a senior NPA source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

City Press reported two weeks ago that Nxasana was demanding R6 million in compensation before he would consider leaving office.

But a source close to the negotiations that paved the way for Nxasana’s exit dismissed the figure, saying Nxasana would hold out for more money.

“What is R6 million? Nxasana wants more. The president wants to fire him, but he does not have any reasonable grounds to do so. The offer has to be irresistible for him because he has suffered a lot of reputational damage,” said the insider.

However, the amount involved in Nxasana’s settlement could not be established this week.

Nxasana, who had an inquiry into his fitness to hold office cancelled at the last minute, is said to be “very exhausted and bruised” by the airing of his dirty laundry in public.

“He left on Friday and is currently spending time with his family in KwaZulu-Natal and waiting for the official announcement on Monday. The announcement will be in the form of a joint statement agreed by his lawyer and the presidency,” said a senior source close to the negotiations.

A source close to Nxasana said the NPA boss was “under stress and in pain” because of revelations about his past brushes with the law, and he wanted to spend time with his family.

“It has been a very difficult time for him and his family. Imagine when your children get to know that you once killed someone 30 years ago, and the matter gets brought up because of your position.”

Because of that, Nxasana failed to obtain a security clearance, despite being acquitted of the murder charge he had faced in 1985, when he was 18 years old.

One of the sticking points in the negotiations was Nxasana’s insistence that, should he be forced to leave, deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba and specialised commercial crimes unit head Lawrence Mrwebi had to be redeployed elsewhere.

However, City Press has established that the two currently remain in their NPA positions.

“To my knowledge, this condition was rejected and Jiba and Mrwebi are likely to stay. There haven’t been any talks with them, so I think they will stay,” said a senior NPA source.

Nxasana has previously written to President Zuma asking him to suspend Jiba and Mrwebi, with whom he has consistently battled since he was appointed in August 2013, accusing them of plotting to oust him. The two have previously denied the allegations. They could not be reached for comment this week.

In March, Nxasana held a press conference to announce that he had tried unsuccessfully to serve Jiba with a summons to appear in court on charges of fraud and perjury.

The charges related to attempts by Jiba – when she was still acting NPA head – to charge KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Major General Johan Booysen with murder and racketeering over his involvement in an alleged police death squad unit.

President Zuma’s spokesperson, Harold Maloka, declined to comment about when Nxasana would be leaving the NPA and declined to answer specific questions regarding Nxasana’s exit demands.

However, the presidency issued a statement today stating that Zuma had reached an agreement with Nxasana.

“The Government recognises that Mr Nxasana is professionally competent and possesses the requisite experience and integrity required to hold a senior position.
The President expresses his sincere gratitude to Mr Nxasana for his contribution to the work of the National Prosecuting Authority and wishes him well in his future endeavours.”

The presidency also confirmed that Ramaite would take up the role of acting national director of public prosecutions.

Nxasana did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more on:    mxolisi nxasana  |  npa

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