Zuma to appeal High Court ruling stripping him of power to appoint NDPP

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Karabo Ngoepe

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma is set to appeal the judgement handed by the Pretoria High Court stripping him of the powers to appoint the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The court ruled that Zuma was conflicted and handed the power to appoint Shaun Abrahams’ replacement to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Whilst the President awaits a full briefing on the judgement, he has been advised that an early assessment displays, with respect, various grounds upon which a successful appeal may be prosecuted,” Presidency spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga said on Friday.

He said the National Prosecuting Authority was an important institution in the country’s constitutional democracy, appointments in respect of which are not made lightly.

The court declared the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as the National Director of Public Prosecutions unlawful and said the decision must be set aside. The full bench of the North Gauteng High Court made the ruling on Friday morning and also ruled that his predecessor Mxolosi Nxasana’s resignation was fuelled by promises of unlawful rewards. He claimed he was pushed and was given a R17 Million golden handshake which the court also ruled that he was not entitled to it and he should pay it back.

Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, however, said it would not be just to reinstate Nxasana to his former position. Mlambo further ruled that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must appoint a new NDPP in the next 60 days.

That power lies with the President but Mlambo said Zuma was conflicted in the matter and therefore he should not make the appointment. Zuma has a pending case to reinstate charges against him. Abrahams was supposed to make an announcement on Friday regarding the progress of the case.

Ngqulunga said together with judges, are appointed by the president, the National Director of Public Prosecutions plays a vital role in the criminal justice system.

“Minded by the principle of the separation of powers, constitutional legality and the rule of law, the judgement will be appealed. Out of deference to the court and the judicial system, these grounds will be properly ventilated in the normal course in court proceedings,” he said.