10 November 2017

South Africa: Zuma Defends Shaun Abrahams' Fitness As NPA Head

President Jacob Zuma says it would be "irrational and unconstitutional" to remove National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams from his post.

Zuma was responding to a written Parliamentary question from Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota, who had asked if he was reviewing Abrahams' fitness to hold office.

Lekota asked if the manner in which Abrahams justified the decision - taken by former NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe - to drop corruption charges against Zuma last month in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) warranted a suspension.

"The conditions of service of the National Director of Public Prosecutions are regulated by the National Prosecuting Authority Act No. 32 of 1998," Zuma responded.

"Further, there is nothing in the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal to suggest that Advocate Shaun Abrahams is not fit and proper to be the National Director of the Public Prosecutions.

"It will therefore be irrational and unconstitutional of me to suspend Advocate Abrahams based on the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal."

In October, the SCA dismissed the NPA and Zuma's appeal against a 2016 decision by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that found Mpshe's decision had been irrational.

Zuma's office said after the judgment that it was disappointed with the SCA's decision, and it was now up to the NPA to make a "legitimate" decision on whether or not to prosecute him.

In another question on Friday, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane asked Zuma whether he now intends making representations to the National Prosecuting Authority on the 783 counts of fraud he is facing before the November 30 deadline.

"This matter is currently before the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and I am taking legal advice," Zuma replied.

In an unrelated question, Maimane also asked Zuma whether he intended to remove Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa from his position as reported in the media.

"My office has already publicly refuted the reports that suggest that I am intending to remove Mr Cyril Ramaphosa as the Deputy President of the country," Zuma said.

Source: News24

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