Judgment clears way for Simelane

The failure of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) high court application to remove National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Menzi Simelane has cleared the way for Simelane to focus on his duties, government said yesterday.

“The NDPP plays an important role in our fight against crime and this judgment allows Advocate Simelane to continue on the immediate task at hand of fighting corruption and crime,” said spokesperson Themba Maseko in a statement.

He said the judgment re-affirmed President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of Simelane as the NDPP.

The DA’s application to remove Simelane was dismissed by the Pretoria High Court yesterday.

“In the absence of any prescribed process, I am unable to hold that the process followed was irrational as the President’s [Jacob Zuma] aim was, as is apparent from his answering affidavit, to determine whether Mr Simelane was a fit and proper person for appointment as envisaged in the Constitution and the [National Prosecuting Authority] acts,” read Judge Pieter van der Byl’s ruling.

“I am accordingly unpersuaded that it has been shown on the probabilities that Mr Simelane is not a fit and proper person for appointment.”

The DA filed urgent papers last year opposing Zuma’s appointment of Simelane. The party said he was not the right person for the job and the process followed to appoint him was irrational.

It also argued that the appointment was made for an improper, ulterior motive, namely to appoint an NDPP who was thought to be malleable to the executive’s wishes.

DA chairperson James Selfe said the party would meet its legal team yesterday afternoon to examine the judgment and internally decide on whether it would appeal the ruling. It would decide on whether to take the matter to the Constitutional Court.

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