“The national director of public prosecutions appears to have a lot of support among the staff of the NPA on ground level, so they believe these new allegations are a red herring in order to get rid of him,” Glynnis Breytenbach, a former senior prosecutor at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said.
“They all hold the view, the people that I’ve spoken to, that the NPA cannot possibly survive another period of an acting national director.”
Breytenbach was speaking at a Democratic Alliance media briefing where the party outlined its intention to call on Parliament to look into Nxasana’s appointment.
The party was concerned that allegations that Nxasana was asked to resign because of previous run-ins with the law involved “political meddling” in the work of the NPA.
According to Breytenbach morale was at an all-time low among NPA staff.
“They believe Mr Nxasana is trying his best and is doing a good job. I have yet to speak to anyone who’s dissatisfied with him.”
The Star reported that former justice minister Jeff Radebe called Nxasana to a late-night meeting and instructed him to resign a few days before Zuma announced his new Cabinet.
Radebe allegedly claimed Nxasana had not been given a security clearance because of past brushes with the law. These included being tried for murder about 30 years ago. He was acquitted.
Nxasana has reportedly refused to resign and vowed to challenge the matter in court or an inquiry should he be fired.
The DA believes Nxasana’s integrity was being called into question, possibly because of his stance on the Mdluli matter.
It was also rumoured that he would reinstate corruption charges against Zuma.
DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said there were two reasons Parliament’s yet-to-be announced justice portfolio committee needed to look into Nxasana’s appointment.
“The first is that Mr Nxasana might not be a fit and proper person to hold the office of NDPP due to prior run-ins with the law, in which case his appointment would have been irrational and falls to be set aside,” Maimane said.
“The second is that Mr Nxasana is a fit and proper person to hold the office, but is being manipulated in his functions to advance political ends.”
The committee should as part of its terms of reference recommend amendments to the process of appointing future national directors of public prosecutions, Maimane said.