High court orders NDPP interviews open to media

The Pretoria high court has ordered that interviews of candidates shortlisted to be the next National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) must be open to journalists to attend, setting a precedent for transparency in the process.

Judge Johan Louw made the order late on Tuesday afternoon after hearing arguments from the Right2Know Campaign — a non-profit information advocacy group — and the Presidency.

Right2Know had filed an urgent application for at least 20 accredited journalists to be allowed to attend the interviews in the interests of transparency and public confidence in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the NDPP. It cited President Cyril Ramaphosa as a respondent.

The ruling has set a precedent and for the first time the NDPP interviews may be broadcast as they happen.

The interviews, which were scheduled to begin on Wednesday, have been postponed because the Presidency has said it will need to find a new venue to accommodate the ruling.


Judge Louw agreed with the arguments made by Right2Know and its legal team, including Advocate Ben Winks, saying Ramaphosa — who is responsible for appointing the NDPP — has not given reasons as to why the interviews are closed to journalists.

“The process should be open and transparent. It is of importance that confidence is restored in the office of the NDPP,” Louw said.

Advocate Gcina Malindi, who represented the president, argued that the interviews would include discussions on “sensitive” NPA investigations, which would necessitate closing them to the media.

Ultimately, Louw ruled in favour of Right2Know.

Ramaphosa has appointed a panel which is responsible for shortlisting candidates, interviewing them, and making recommendations as to who should be appointed to the position.

The 11 shortlisted candidates are:

1. Adv S Batohi
2. Adv K M Chauke
3. Adv J R De Kock
4. Adv A Johnson
5. Adv M Luphondo
6. Adv M Makhari
7. Adv N Manaka
8. Mr S X Mapoma
9. Adv C S Mlotshwa
10. Adv D M Noko
11. Adv M S Ramaite

Ramaphosa has a deadline to appoint former NDPP Shaun Abrahams’s successor by December 19 after the Constitutional Court declared his appointment invalid earlier this year.

Update: On Tuesday night, Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach pulled out from the race for the position of NDPP, the night before interviews for the position were expected to take place. 

High court orders NDPP interviews open to media by Mail and Guardian on Scribd

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

Related stories

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Hawks swoop down with more arrests in R1.4-billion corruption blitz

The spate of arrests for corruption continues apace in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Fix economy: Cut, build, tax

Expert panel presents a range of solutions to the economic crisis that include cost cutting, infrastructure spending and a solidarity levy

Marikana murder trial resumes

The eight-year battle for justice played out its next round in the Mahikeng high court this week

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

Watch it again: Ramaphosa details economic recovery plan

According to the Presidency, the plan aims to expedite, in a sustainable manner, the recovery of South Africa’s economy
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

WSU suspends classes and exams to avoid the spread of...

The university says it has to take the precautionary measures because 26 students have tested positive on its East London campus

Entrepreneurs strike Covid gold

Some enterprising people found ways for their ventures to survive the strictest lockdown levels

Ithala backs its embattled chairperson

Roshan Morar is being investigated in connection with KwaZulu-Natal education department backpack sanitiser tender worth R4-million and a batch of face masks that vanished

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza: Liberating Africa from land of liberté

The cultural and political activist is on a quest to bring looted treasures back home
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday