NEWS & ANALYSIS

DA calls for new NDPP to be appointed by Parliament – Glynnis Breytenbach

MP says this will play critical role in preventing political influence over the NPA

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

13 August 2018

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.

Issued by Glynnis BreytenbachDA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, 13 August 2018