The Constitutional Court on Friday prepared to step in should National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams show any sign of making a decision on whether or not to pursue President Jacob Zuma for corruption.
In terse directions issued, the Concourt said that three civil society organisations “may, if so advised,” seek appropriate relief if they were to “apprehend” that Abrahams and the NPA may take a decision on Zuma’s charges.
Corruption Watch, Freedom Under Law, and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) have approached the court to seek confirmation of a high court order that booted Abrahams out of office and put appointing his replacement in the hands of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma, the high court said, could not be allowed to appoint the next national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) because he was conflicted due to the pending decision on whether or not to prosecute him.
That high court decision flowed from a challenge to the R17.3-million golden handshake Zuma extended to Abrahams’ predecessor Mxolisi Nxasana.
Zuma had originally been due to make new representations on why he should not be charged with corruption this month. However, Abrahams extended the deadline for Zuma’s submission until the end of January, partially on the basis that Zuma would be unavailable to work with his lawyers until after the ANC’s elective conference.
Both the NPA and Zuma have applied for leave to appeal the Nxasana judgment.
Zuma, Abrahams, the NPA, and the justice department have until January 19 to file their opposition to the Concourt matter.