Press release: CASAC argues the NPA Act is unconstitutional
Published by Legal Resources Centre 22 November 2017
For immediate release: 22 November 2017
The R17 million settlement that saw the removal of erstwhile National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana came under scrutiny in the Pretoria High Court this week. The LRC represented the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) in its application to have the settlement reviewed by the Pretoria High Court on 20 and 21 November 2017.
CASAC sought to challenge the decision of the President and others to pay the former National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Nxasana, a ‘golden handshake’ of approximately R17 million. The review was brought on various grounds, including that it was irrational and unreasonable, that the President did not have the proper authority to enter into such an agreement, and that it was motivated by an ulterior purpose. The application by CASAC was heard together with a separate review application, filed by Corruption Watch and Freedom under Law, that is similar in terms to CASAC’s application.
In addition to the review of the settlement, CASAC also sought an order declaring sections 12(4) and 12(6) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act inconsistent with the Constitution. Section 12(6) affords the President the power to suspend the NDPP and Deputy National Directors of Public Prosecution (DNDPP) unilaterally, indefinitely and without pay. Section 12(6) allows the President to extend the tenure of the NDPP and the DNDPP. CASAC argued that these sections undermine the independence of the NDPP and, consequently, the NPA as a whole
The application was heard by a full bench consisting of Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, Judge Natu Ranchod and Judge Willem van der Linde. Judgment was reserved.