President Jacob Zuma instituted an inquiry into NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana, the presidency announced on Saturday.
“President Jacob Zuma has, in terms of Section 12(6)(a)(iv) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act 32 of 1998 and after careful consideration of all the matters before him, decided to institute an inquiry into the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Mxolisi Nxasana,” a statement from the presidency said.
Maharaj said details on whether Nxasana would be suspended will be announced in due course.
Nxasana was thrust into the limelight after he was denied a clearance certificate, when he did not disclose that he had killed a man when he was 18 years old.
Nxasana said he was acquitted of the murder, which took place in 1985 in Umlazi, outside Durban, but this had now come back to haunt him. Nxasana insisted this is part of factional machinations by his rivals at the NPA and politicians who want to get rid of him.
In May, Nxasana told the Mail & Guardian: “There have been stories circulating, which I will tell a commission of inquiry if there is one,” Nxasana. “They have spread rumours that I want to reinstate charges against President Jacob Zuma, that I want to reinstate charges in the Amigos case in Durban [involving ANC politicians].”
A report by the Sunday Times, claimed 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.
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 M&G that the prosecuting agency was not interested in giving the report “any credence”.
Earlier, Zuma denied reports in the New Age that he ordered Nxasana to resign or face being fired.
“The president has not met with Mr Nxasana and has not asked him to resign,” Maharaj said.
NPA spokesperson Nathi Ncube said the article was a lie. “The story is a pure fabrication by information peddlers with a very active imagination,” Ncube told a South African Press Association reporter via SMS.
Sources close to the NPA and the presidency reportedly told the New Age that Zuma met Nxasana recently to discuss Nxasana’s future. It was at that meeting that Zuma reportedly asked Nxasana to resign or face being fired.