13 August 2018

South Africa: The ConCourt's Abrahams Judgment - 10 Things You Need to Know

Photo: GCIS
Shaun Abrahams (file photo).

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:

1. It found that the golden handshake given to former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana was unconstitutional and invalid and that the subsequent appointment of Shaun Abrahams as NDPP was also unconstitutional and invalid.

2. The court's judgment in effect means that Abrahams is no longer the NDPP and that he must vacate his office immediately.

3. Abrahams has no recourse to any other court or process this is it for him. The judgment however does not invalidate any decision he has taken while in office.

4. President Cyril Ramaphosa has been ordered by the country's apex court to appoint a new NDPP within 90 days.

5. The court was scathing about Zuma and the manner in which he went about gerrymandering and manipulating Mxolisi Nxasana to resign as NDPP.

6. It said the chronology of events led the court to the conclusion that Zuma was attempting to buy-off an NDPP with whom he did not agree.

7. Stability at the NPA, which is in a "sorry state" and has been engulfed in controversy for years, is of paramount importance in a constitutional democracy, the court said.

8. Nxasana does not escape the court's ire either. It says Nxasana took the money and ran, and that although he was put under pressure, it was not the conduct of someone holding such a high office.

9. The court found that the stability of the NPA is of such import that it would not be wise to reinstate Nxasana and that he must return the more than R10m paid to him.

10. A minority judgment, however, found that Nxasana should return to the office of the NDPP and that the president can institute commission of inquiry should he wish to do so.

Source: News24

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