Zuma must explain NPA decision - DA

2013-07-04 14:22
President Jacob zuma (Picture: AFP)

President Jacob zuma (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma must explain his refusal to appoint a permanent national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) to the Constitutional Court, the DA said on Thursday.

Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe said Zuma's decision to oppose an application by the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) in the Constitutional Court to force him to make a permanent NDPP appointment was "deeply regrettable".

"The president’s decision to oppose the application means that the taxpayer will now have to foot the bill for legal costs in a case seeking to force the president to execute his duties as head of state," Selfe said.

"This application to the Constitutional Court should not have been necessary in the first place and represents a failing presidency."

Zuma opposing Casac bid

On Thursday, the Beeld newspaper reported that Zuma would oppose Casac's application to force him to appoint a permanent NDPP within 30 days.

Casac has asked the highest court in the land to force Zuma to make the appointment.

Beeld reported that Zuma's legal team on Wednesday informed the rights group in writing of Zuma's decision to oppose the application.

The prosecuting authority has been led by acting head Nomgcobo Jiba for the past nine months, but has been without a permanent head since the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside Zuma's appointment of advocate Menzi Simelane as NDPP in 2011.

The presidency has to submit its response statement to the court by 19 July.

Selfe said at the very least, the application would provide an ideal opportunity for Zuma to explain to the nation why he refused to appoint a permanent NDPP to the detriment of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Zuma ‘obliged to appoint NPA head’

The DA believed Zuma's failure to appoint a permanent head of the NPA was not only undesirable, but arguably, unconstitutional.

There were two reasons why an acting NDPP was undesirable, he said.

"Any acting appointee may be removed at any time, undermining the independence of the NDPP.

"An acting NDPP cannot fulfil his or her constitutional obligations to determine prosecution policy and to issue policy directives," he said.

Selfe said the president was obliged to appoint the head of the prosecuting authority.

Furthermore, section 237 of the Constitution stated that all constitutional obligations had to be performed diligently and without delay.
Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  constitutional court  |  casac  |  jacob zuma  |  james selfe

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