OVERVIEW: ConCourt rules Abrahams' appointment invalid, Ramaphosa given 90 days to appoint new NPA boss

2018-08-13 09:36

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been ordered by the Constitutional Court to appoint a new NDPP within 90 days.

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Last Updated at 19:30
13 Aug 14:48

Long way to restoring integrity of NPA - legal experts

The Constitutional Court's judgment that Shaun Abrahams should vacate the office of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is a scathing reflection of former president Jacob Zuma's decision-making and the first step towards restoring the integrity of the national prosecutor, legal experts say.

The Constitutional Court found that the vacating of office by former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana, as per an agreement with Zuma, was unconstitutional and the subsequent appointment of Abrahams in the position therefore invalid.

The majority judgment, handed down by Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga on Monday, was widely welcomed, but experts warned that it's a long way to go to restoring the effectiveness and integrity of the NPA.


13 Aug 13:15

Shaun Abrahams 'gravely disappointed' by ConCourt ruling

Shaun Abrahams has expressed disappointment following the Constitutional Court's confirmation on Monday that his appointment as National Prosecution Authority head was unconstitutional and invalid.

"He [Abrahams] was gravely disappointed, but he respects the decision of the apex court in the land," NPA national spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told News24. 

When delivering his ruling on Monday morning, Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga said former president Jacob Zuma's decision to terminate Abraham's predecessor Mxolisi Nxasana from the position as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) was an abuse of power and that the Abrahams was a beneficiary of that abuse.


13 Aug 12:19

LIVE ANALYSIS: What now for Shaun Abrahams?

News24’s Jeanette Chabalala and Pieter du Toit discuss Monday morning's ruling by the Constitutional Court, which found the appointment of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams unconstitutional and invalid.

The court also found the manner in which former NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana vacated office was 'constitutionally invalid'.


13 Aug 12:18

#ShaunAbrahams: DA calls on NPA head to be appointed by Parliament

by Glynnis Breytenbach MP - DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the Constitutional Court ruling today finding Shaun Abrahams' appointment as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) invalid.

The court found that the manner in which former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana vacated office was Constitutionally invalid.

In December 2017, the North Gauteng High Court declared that former President Jacob Zuma's decision to terminate Nxasana's appointment as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the High Court ordered then-Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to appoint a new NDPP as Zuma was too compromised.

The DA has propagated the view for some time that the appointment process regarding the NDPP should follow the concept of public and parliamentary involvement similar to the process of appointment of the Public Protector and the judiciary. 

This would be a good time to revisit that option.Zuma’s decision to appoint Abrahams as head of the NPA was nothing more than an attempt to prevent the prosecuting authority from reinstating the 783 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering against him.

Parliament should play a central role in appointing the NDPP in order to prevent political influence over the NPA.

Furthermore, the DA welcomes the court’s ruling that Section 12(6) of the NPA Act unconstitutional; this section determines that the president can suspend the NDPP for an indefinite period without pay.

The court has given Parliament 18 months to remedy this defect. In the interim, the president will only be allowed to suspend the NDPP for a period of 6 months and the NDPP will receive a full salary in that period.

President Ramaphosa must stop evading the inevitable and should, with the participation of Parliament, appoint a credible and independent NDPP which will restore the public faith in the integrity of the NPA.


13 Aug 12:08

JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES COMMITTEE NOTES THE COURT JUDGMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF NDPP

Parliament, Monday, 13 August 2018 – Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services Chairperson has noted the Constitutional Court judgment today regarding the appointment of the National Director of Public Prosecutors (NDPP), Advocate Shaun Abrahams, and the removal of office of his predecessor, Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana.

Committee Chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, said the finding by Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga that Abrahams' appointment was unconstitutional and invalid, should bring closure to a long-drawn-out chapter.

"This has led to uncertainty at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The focus should now revert back to stability and certainty at the NPA."

Justice Madlanga said former president Jacob Zuma's decision to terminate Abrahams' predecessor, Nxasana's position as the National Director of Public Prosecutions was an abuse of power – and that Abrahams was a beneficiary of that abuse.

Dr Motshekga further noted the court's declaration that certain sections of the NPA Act are unconstitutional and that Parliament is given 18 months to amend the Act.

"I note that subsections 12(4) and 12(6) have been declared unconstitutional. I, as chairperson, will do everything in my power to ensure that an amendment of the Act happens speedily as we want to ensure a strong and constitutionally sound legislation."

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, DR MATHOLE MOTSHEKGA. 


13 Aug 11:40

The ConCourt's Abrahams judgment: 10 things you need to know

The Constitutional Court on Monday dealt a devastating blow to former president Jacob Zuma, national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Here are 10 things you need to know about this landmark judgment:


13 Aug 11:10

13 Aug 11:06

13 Aug 11:03

13 Aug 10:54

13 Aug 10:47

13 Aug 10:45
President Cyril Ramaphosa was ordered to appoint a new NDPP within 90 days. It was revealed in June that Ramaphosa was waiting for the ConCourt judgment on Abrahams before making a decision.

13 Aug 10:41

13 Aug 10:38

ConCourt finds Abrahams' appointment as NPA boss unconstitutional and invalid

The Constitutional Court found on Monday that the appointment of National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams was unconstitutional and invalid.

Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga said former president Jacob Zuma's decision to terminate Abraham's predecessor Mxolisi Nxasana position as the National Director of Public Prosecutions was an abuse of power and that the Abrahams was a beneficiary of that abuse.


13 Aug 10:37

13 Aug 10:33

13 Aug 10:33
Madlanga says the declaration of constitutional invalidity of certain sections of the NPA Act, is confirmed. Parliament is given 18 months to amend the NPA Act. 

13 Aug 10:32

13 Aug 10:32
Madlanga says the appeal of Nxasana is upheld. The cost order of the High Court against Nxasana is set aside. He also says the appeal of Shaun Abrahams and the NPA is dismissed with cost.

13 Aug 10:31

13 Aug 10:29
Minority judgment held that Nxasana should return to the position of NDPP. 

13 Aug 10:28

13 Aug 10:26
Madlanga says Nxasana's removal was an "abuse of power" and Shaun Abrahams was a beneficiary of that abuse of power.

13 Aug 10:26

13 Aug 10:24

13 Aug 10:24

Madlanga says for years there has been instabilities in the office of the NDPP.


13 Aug 10:23

13 Aug 10:21
Madlanga says the independence of the NPA was undermined by Zuma. 

13 Aug 10:20

13 Aug 10:20

13 Aug 10:20

Madlanga questions why Zuma did not wait for the inquiry to go ahead.

Madlanga says that Zuma bought Nxasana.

Madlanga further says the way in which Nxasana vacated office was constitutionally invalid.


13 Aug 10:17

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13 Aug 10:15
Madlanga said the NPA Act provides for a ten year term for the NDPP with the possibility of extension over age 65. 

13 Aug 10:14
Justice Madlanga asks why former president did not pursue an inquiry into Nxasana's fitness to hold office.

13 Aug 10:12

13 Aug 10:12
Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga now going through Mxolisi Nxasana's settlement amount. He says over time Nxasana indicated that he did not wish to resign.

13 Aug 10:11

13 Aug 10:10
Court is now in session. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

13 Aug 10:04

13 Aug 09:54

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13 Aug 09:41

13 Aug 09:40

Why Ramaphosa must move on Abrahams, regardless of what the court says

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was supposed to have been one of democratic South Africa’s safeguards against power abuse and injustice.

Following decades during which the state apparatus, including prosecutors, were employed to enforce the apartheid government’s policies and laws, the NPA was designed to be independent from government to ensure that constitutional supremacy is upheld.

But the NPA has been in the wars and in the middle of every single political skirmish since the turn of the century when then national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), Bulelani Ngcuka, decided not to prosecute deputy president Jacob Zuma on charges of corruption, money-laundering and fraud, even though he had "prima facie" evidence of wrongdoing.

That plunged the NPA, an organisation consisting of thousands of hard working officials across the length and breadth of the country, headlong into the political maelstrom created by Zuma’s expansive and dogged efforts to stay out of jail.


13 Aug 09:40

Shaun Abrahams faces D-day over his job as ConCourt judgment looms

The Constitutional Court is on Monday expected to hand down the much-anticipated judgment on whether Shaun Abrahams' appointment as head of the NPA was unconstitutional. 

The ruling is expected to be delivered at 10:00. 

In February, the Constitutional Court heard an application to confirm two declaratory orders of constitutional invalidity, made by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on December 8.

The High Court declared former president Jacob Zuma's conduct as unconstitutional in the termination of Mxolisi Nxasana's appointment as the then National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). 


13 Aug 09:40

ConCourt to hand down judgment on Shaun Abrahams' position

The Constitutional Court will on Monday announce its decision on whether Shaun Abrahams' appointment as head of the NPA was unconstitutional or not, News24 has reliably learnt.

Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court heard an application to confirm two declaratory orders of constitutional invalidity, made by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on December 8.

The High Court declared former president Jacob Zuma's conduct as unconstitutional in the termination of Mxolisi Nxasana's appointment as the then National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Nxasana accepted a golden handshake of R17.3m from Zuma after a break down in their relationship.


13 Aug 09:40

Will Shaun Abrahams be sacked? Ramaphosa's decision hinges on court rulings

President Cyril Ramaphosa is waiting for two Constitutional Court judgments before he decides on the position of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams, a parliamentary reply revealed.

Ramaphosa was responding to a parliamentary question posed by DA MP Choloane David Matsepe.

He asked Ramaphosa "whether he intends to remove Abrahams from the position of National Director [of Public Prosecutions] (NDPP)", and "if not, why not?"

He also asked whether he had found that the NPA was capable of executing its mandate under Abrahams' incumbent leadership.

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