The New York Times praises Shaun Abrahams' sacking

The New York Times on Thursday praised the sacking of Shaun Abrahams as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

On Monday, News24 reported that the Constitutional Court ruled that Abrahams' appointment had been unconstitutional and ordered him to vacate his office.

In the piece, titled "A promise of a cleaner South Africa", the influential newspaper's editorial board wrote that Abrahams had been appointed by former president Jacob Zuma "to ensure impunity for his intimate and lucrative dealings" with the Gupta family.

Abrahams' departure clears the way for President Cyril Ramaphosa "to appoint someone capable of waging a tough, independent and credible cleansing of South Africa's officialdom…"

The column warns, however, that "Abrahams was only one shoot in the systemic corruption that has spread through [the ANC]".

The paper wrote that what was promising in Abrahams' ouster is "the evidence that South African institutions remain capable of taking action against corruption".

Abuse of power

Abrahams has expressed disappointment following the Constitutional Court's confirmation on Monday that his appointment as NPA head was unconstitutional and invalid.

"He [Abrahams] was gravely disappointed, but he respects the decision of the apex court in the land," NPA national spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told News24.

When delivering his ruling on Monday morning, Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga said Zuma's decision to remove Abrahams' predecessor Mxolisi Nxasana from the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions was an abuse of power and that Abrahams was a beneficiary of that abuse.

On Tuesday News24 reported that Ramaphosa appointed Silas Ramaite as the Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Ramaite is currently the NPA's deputy national director responsible for administration and the office for witness protection. He has served as deputy director for 15 years.

Ramaphosa now has three months to choose a new permanent NPA head.

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