Nxasana to tell Zondo commission about political interference at NPA

Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: Gallo Images

Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: Gallo Images

Advocate Paul Pretorius says the testimony will also look at the appointment of senior officials at the NPA and its effectiveness.

The commission of inquiry into state capture will on Wednesday hear testimony from former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana, whose evidence is expected to mainly deal with the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and political interference there.

The chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, said Nxasana’s testimony should deal mainly about this and who had carried out political interference at the NPA and whether this was justified and permissible.

Evidence leader at the commission on Wednesday advocate Paul Pretorius said the extent of the political interference at the authority, the appointment of senior officials, and its effectiveness was of particular concern to the inquiry’s legal team.

Pretorius said Nxasana’s testimony was not entirely focused on the litigation that had been before courts, which last year culminated in the Constitutional Court finding the manner in which Nxasana vacated office in 2015, and the subsequent appointment of Shaun Abrahams unconstitutional and invalid.

The court ordered Nxasana to pay back a sum of more than R10 million due to the illegality of the R17.3 million “golden handshake” former president Jacob Zuma gave him to leave his position as NDPP.

Nxasana later revealed that he had already spent the “golden handshake” money.

Pretorius said Nxasana’s testimony would deal with “a much broader set of issues … there are different issues”.

Zondo said what he considered to be important was Nxasana’s tenure at the NPA, “particularly how he left the NPA”.

The commission’s chair further requested that a full set of affidavits in the Corruption Watch court application, which sought to invalidate and declare unconstitutional Nxasana’s removal and Abrahams subsequent appointment, be placed before him as soon as possible.

Pretorius said the commission’s investigators had done an enormous amount of work to ensure the court documents are to be placed before Zondo.

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