Goodbye, Shaun Abrahams
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) welcomes the Constitutional Court’s eviction of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams from office.
“Once again, the Constitutional Court saves South Africa,” says Ben Theron, OUTA COO.
The NPA Act sets out that when the NDPP is not available, the President may appoint any deputy NDPP as the acting NDPP. OUTA hopes that South Africa will not have to put up with the compromised Deputy NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba as acting NDPP.
“We urge the President to make the appointment of the new National Director as soon as possible. We hope he has an outstanding candidate in mind who will ensure justice,” says Theron.
OUTA is relieved that a decision has been made, as this matter has been pending since the Pretoria High Court decision in December 2017 that neither Mxolisi Nxasana nor Abrahams should be NDPP. This decision gives finality to the matter and encourages much-needed stability in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The decision also underlines the abuse of power by former President Jacob Zuma and the rot that flowed from this, including the settlement which tainted Mxolisi Nxasana and pushed him out of office and the now-invalid appointment of Abrahams. OUTA welcomes the that Nxasana must repay the excess portion of his payout.
OUTA also congratulates Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law for taking on this case. “It is organised civil society and independent organisations which hold the state to account and ensure good governance which promotes our democracy,” says Theron.
“Now the fight against corruption can start. Shaun Abrahams was a major stumbling block in this regard.
“The President must find the correct replacement: a strong, independent NDPP. The Concourt has reminded us all that the head of the NPA should be allowed to do his job without fear or favour. The new NDPP has a tough job: firstly, restoring the credibility and morale of the prosecution services and, secondly, dealing with that long queue of corrupt people waiting to go to jail.”
Last year OUTA opened 12 criminal cases against at least 17 politicians, government officials and SOE board members – and provided substantial evidence of their corrupt activities – but the NPA under Abrahams did next to nothing about these matters. Instead, he pursued cases against those like Pravin Gordhan who opposed state capture. We now look forward to a re-energised NPA which acts on these matters.