Ruling on NPA boss upholds the Constitution

You have to admire the lawyers who represent President Jacob Zuma and the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), Shaun Abrahams.

The ink was scarcely dry on the paper of a lengthy and carefully constructed judgment declaring, most significantly, that Abrahams had not been validly appointed to the position of head of the National Prosecuting Authority and that a new appointment had to be made by the deputy president, when it was announced by both affected parties that, on strong legal advice, they would be appealing the judgment.

Within 48 hours, the ANC Youth League and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini had added their considerable jurisprudential weight (in the latter case, a knowledge doubtless sourced in her conduct during the South Africa Social Security Agency case) about why the judgment was an overreach, and thus legally wrong.

Do they have a plausible argument? To answer this question a brief recourse to the facts that confronted the high court in Pretoria is necessary.

READ MORE: There should be no Abrahams-vs-Nxasana beauty contest, court hears

In July 2014, less than a year after his appointment as NDPP, Mxolisi Nxasana was informed that the president intended to hold an inquiry into his fitness for office.

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