NDPP judgment: Organisations, lobby groups enter the fray

The race is on to find a new National Director of Public Prosecutions and organisations are keeping a close watch as the process unfolds.

This follows a Constitutional Court judgment that declared the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) unconstitutional and invalid.

The court found that found that the decision by former president Jacob Zuma to remove Abrahams' predecessor Mxolisi Nxasana from the position was an abuse of power and that Abrahams was a beneficiary of that abuse.

While the Presidency indicated in a statement that it was cognisant of the order directing President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new NDPP head within 90 days, organisations stressed gave their views.

READ: ANALYSIS: Ramaphosa's options...and who might be in the running for NPA boss

The FW de Klerk Foundation pointed out that the arduous task of finding a suitable replacement for Abrahams would now begin.

"The court has given President Ramaphosa 90 days in which to do so. This search takes place while senior members in the ranks of the NPA, including Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, still have questions regarding their competency and fitness to hold office."

The foundation said the Hawks lost a series of court cases regarding allegations of state capture involving the infamous Gupta family.

"Now, more than ever, there is a need for the NPA to reassure the nation of its capabilities in holding both individuals and the state alike accountable."

Freedom Under Law, which brought the initial application along with the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) to challenge the termination of Nxasana's appointment and his subsequent R17m payout, also added its voice.

"FUL is confident today's judgment holds out the prospect of a reconstructed, revitalised NPA, with persons of unimpeachable integrity at its helm, able to fully play its vital role in securing criminal justice and constitutional democracy and with the public's confidence that it is able to dispense justice without fear or favour," it said in a statement.

READ: 10 blistering quotes from the ConCourt ruling on Shaun Abrahams, Nxasana

The HSF described the judgment as sound.

"The judgment upholds the rule of law and brings much-needed stability to the crucial role in the delivery of justice of the National Prosecuting Authority and the Office of the NDPP.  The HSF welcomes the judgment and will continue to monitor the implementation of the court's order as regards the structural independence of the NPA."

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) CEO Tanya Cohen welcomed the judgment, saying it provided clarity.

"This is a momentous judgment. The efficacy of the NPA is crucial against the backdrop of the upcoming Zondo Commission of Inquiry [into state capture] and the proceedings that have already been instituted against those accused of having had a hand in state capture."

BUSA added that an effective NPA was crucial for the functioning of the country.

Meanwhile, FUL also praised Nxasana. 

"FUL salutes Mr Nxasana, without whose assistance the true record of then [former] president Zuma's efforts to oust him from office would never have been disclosed."