“President Jacob Zuma is proceeding with the enquiry into the fitness of the NDPP Mr Mxolisi Nxasana to hold office and has requested that such an enquiry should proceed expeditiously in order to resolve such a matter which is no doubt of paramount public interest,” spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
In August last year, Zuma notified Nxasana that he was considering suspending him pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office.
Nxasana filed an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in September seeking an interdict to stop Zuma from suspending him before he had been provided with full details of the allegations against him and given a chance to make further representations.
Judge Joseph Raulinga postponed his application indefinitely.
Zuma announced his decision to institute the inquiry on July 5 after reports emerged that Nxasana had apparently not been given security clearance because of past brushes with the law, including being tried for murder around 30 years ago. He was acquitted of the charge based on his version of self-defence.
In terms of the NPA Act, the president can only fire the prosecutions head after such an inquiry and with the approval of parliamentarians.
Nxasana is the third prosecutions boss to be shown the door in the past five years after Menzi Simelane’s appointment was invalidated by the Supreme Court of Appeal and Vusi Pikoli was fired by Zuma’s predecessor, Kgalema Motlanthe.
Ironically, Nxasana and Simelane were brought in by Zuma amid negative public reaction partly because of Simelane’s questionable track record and Nxasana’s lack of prosecutorial experience. – Additional reporting by M&G reporters