18 November 2018

South Africa: Appointing a New NDPP - What Are the Requirements?


The panel waits to interview candidates for the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions at the Union Buildings on November 14, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. The interviews are conducted by an advisory panel led by Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe. (Photo by Gallo Images / Phill Magakoe)

The shortlist of candidates for the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions has been finalised and, following a successful application from Right2Know, the interviews were open to the public. This is unprecedented but an important modification to an appointment process which was previously rather opaque. In view of this, it is worthwhile to look more closely at what the requirements are for the position of NDPP against the background that the appointment is of great public interest.

The requirements for the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) are rather slim when compared with those of the Public Protector and Auditor-General. In the case of the NDPP it is required merely that the person be fit and proper and "possess legal qualifications that would entitle him or her to practice in all courts in the Republic".

There is no requirement of specialist knowledge or numbers...

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