NPA boss accused of assaulting former girlfriend

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) refused to be drawn on a fresh media report on Sunday that its leader Mxolisi Nxasana was a “woman beater” who had assaulted his former girlfriend “at the slightest provocation”.

The latest allegation, reported by the Sunday Times, was that pensioner Aggrieneth Khumalo – the mother of Nxasana’s ex-girlfriend Joyce Khumalo – painted a picture of a man who was a “woman beater, bully and thug” when recalling her late daughter’s relationship with the NPA boss. The paper alleged Nxasana tried to strangle Khumalo when she ended the relationship. It further stated that Khumalo then laid an assault charge in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, for which Nxasana paid a R50 admission of guilt fine in 1986.

Khumalo died in 1998 in an unrelated incident after her relationship with Nxasana.

NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke referred to the report as “an apparent crusade against Nxasana” and told the Mail & Guardian that the prosecuting agency was not interested in giving the report “any credence”.

President Jacob Zuma’s return to official duties on Tuesday raises hopes that he will soon provide guidance on what should be done to stabilise the faction-riddled NPA. Zuma was admitted to a Pretoria hospital last week with instructions to rest following a demanding election and transition to a new administration. The ANC leadership then ordered Zuma to take a break.

Though Justice Minister Michael Masutha last week pleaded with NPA bosses to stop publicly bickering and focus rather on improving the agency’s image, this has not stopped old scandals from crawling out of Nxasana’s closet.

Makeke said the NPA leadership, including Nxasana, had committed to stop fuelling the media furore. She also accused some media houses of “unending attempts to smoke him [Nxasana] out”.

Nxasana went on the defence after the M&G reported last month that the State Security Agency had denied him security clearance because he failed to disclose that he was acquitted of killing a man in 1985. In May, on the eve of an announcement of a new Cabinet, former justice minister Jeff Radebe asked Nxasana to resign but the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) snubbed the instruction.

The Democratic Alliance has requested that Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice – which has yet to be formed – meet to investigate the process followed in appointing Nxasana and determine whether the NPA was being politicised.

DA parliamentarian Glynnis Breytenbach, a former prosecutor, said there were allegations that Nxasana was not appointed through an appropriate process. She did not rule out the possibility of a factional attempt to push Nxasana out because he was “a fit and proper person” to hold the NDPP office and was “trying to assert his independence”.

The NPA Act gives the president the power to initiate a commission of inquiry and, if needs be, suspend the NDPP. It is this commission of inquiry that Nxasana told the M&G last month he was willing to answer to. – Additional reporting by Sapa

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Mmanaledi Mataboge
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