Former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana on Wednesday told the commission of inquiry into state capture that the hiring process was not followed leading to his appointment to the position in 2013.
Nxasana told the commission that he did not know whether an advertisement was put out for the position, saying, however, that he had not seen one at the time.
Nxasana further testified that at the time he was not aware of a formal selection process for the position of the NDPP and whether other candidates had been interviewed for the post.
Besides an earlier meeting with former president Jacob Zuma and his legal advisors, Michael Hulley and Bonisile Makhene, which took place before his appointment, Nxasana told the commission that there was no formal job application interview ahead of his appointment.
He also did not fill in an application for the position, the commission heard.
However, Nxasana said once he was already in office he did complete a security clearance application around December 2013 and had signed an employment contract, as well as an oath of office before the judge president.
Nxasana said Hulley had approached him about the position, even though he had not applied for it, and told him that peers within the legal fraternity in Durban had suggested that he would be a suitable candidate as NDPP.
Later, Nxasana met with Zuma, Hulley and Makhene, the former NDPP told the commission, adding that ahead of this meeting, Hulley had assured him that it would not be an interview, and it was not but rather an “interaction”.
At the meeting, Zuma asked Nxasana whether he had the courage to take up the position, a question he interpreted meant whether he would have the courage to take decisions “independently and firmly”.
Nxasana said Zuma also said that taking up the position would be a difficult task, with the former president saying in IsiZulu that the difficulty would arise from the fact that there would be a likelihood of spears directed at the NDPP.
On August 30, 2013, Nxasana received a call from Hulley who asked him to forward his CV, which he did, and thereafter Hulley told him that Zuma was under pressure to appoint an NDPP.
Nxasana said he took up office on October 2013 and was welcomed warmly by personnel at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) offices.
He said he later learned that Nomgcobo Jiba, who was the acting NDPP ahead of his appointment, had been promised by the then minister of justice and constitutional development Jeff Radebe that she would be appointed permanently to the position.
Nxasana also testified that despite instructing Jiba to formally hand over the reins to him, she did not comply and so there was no formal hand over.
Nxasana’s testimony continues: