Shaun Abrahams retires from NPA, with benefits

2018-08-31 14:26
Shaun Abrahams. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Rapport)

Shaun Abrahams. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Rapport)

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ANALYSIS: What now for Shaun Abrahams?

2018-08-13 12:01

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. Watch live. WATCH

The former National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams has retired from the institution, News24 has learnt. 

Sources within the NPA have confirmed to News24 that Abrahams' departure has been processed as a retirement, which holds benefits for him. It is unclear if his benefits will be calculated on his last held position. 

His departure comes after the Constitutional Court ruled that his appointment was unconstitutional. 

Asked for comment on the matter, NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said: "Contractual issues between employer and employee are confidential, we therefore cannot comment on the issue you have raised due to confidentiality." 

Meanwhile, Freedom Under Law's Nicole Fritz said his retirement wasn't a bad thing. She, however, added that "having people just leave office like [former crimes intelligence boss] Richard Mdluli or Shaun Abrahams, then disciplinary processes that must be brought internally are then brought to a halt". 

"It is a good thing that he is no longer in the National Prosecuting Authority, but that retirement also [ends]... any possible processes within the NPA for Shaun and that is unfortunate because it is a failed opportunity for accountability."

Lawson Naidoo, of the Council for the Advancement of South African Constitution, said, "given his conduct as NDPP, his continued tenure at the NPA would obviously be untenable".

On August 13, Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga said that 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.

Thus, the appointment of Abrahams was unconstitutional as well. 

READ: ConCourt finds Abrahams' appointment as NPA boss unconstitutional and invalid

On December 8, 2017, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria declared that Zuma's conduct in the matter was unconstitutional.

In December 2017, Judge Dunstan Mlambo ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa - while he was still deputy president - to appoint a new head of the NPA, after the court declared the post vacant. 

Mlambo ruled it would not be just for Nxasana to be reinstated and that, due to his pending corruption case, Zuma was conflicted in appointing an NDPP.

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

It was revealed in June that Ramaphosa was waiting for the Constitutional Court judgment on Abrahams before making a decision on his position. He has been given 90 days from the day of the order to appoint a new NDPP.

READ: Will Ramaphosa settle on an insider for NPA top job?

Ramaphosa appointed Silas Ramaite as acting head of the NPA earlier this month.

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