The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) on Monday said it was disturbed by a call for National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Mxolisi Nxasana to resign.
“We are seriously disturbed by the actions and timing of the former [Justice Minister] Jeff Radebe who called for the resignation of Mr Mxolisi Nxasana due to his alleged failure to disclose an offence which he was acquitted on,” BLA president Busani Mabunda said in a statement.
Nxasana was innocent of the murder charge as he was acquitted by a court, the BLA said.
Nxasana was not obliged to disclose the incident because he was not convicted.
Radebe reportedly called Nxasana to a late night meeting and instructed him to resign, just few days before President Jacob Zuma announced his new Cabinet.
Radebe allegedly claimed Nxasana had not been given a security clearance because of past brushes with the law. This included being tried for murder about 30 years ago. He was acquitted of the charge based on his version of self-defence.
Nxasana, who was once president of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, reportedly refused to resign and vowed to challenge the matter in court, or in an inquiry, should he be fired.
Mabunda on Monday said the BLA could not understand how someone could be appointed to lead an important institution like the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) when there had not been a proper background check.
“The question of Mr Nxasana’s fitness and properness [sic] to head the NPA cannot be genuinely raised now.
“Mr Nxasana has been declared fit and proper by the high court of South Africa, presided upon by two judges, when he was admitted as an attorney of the high court of South Africa,” he said. – Sapa