Shaun Abrahams. Picture: ALON SKUY
Shaun Abrahams. Picture: ALON SKUY

President Jacob Zuma cannot appoint, remove or suspend the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), a full bench of the High Court in Pretoria has ordered.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, who read out the judgment, ordered that the deputy president must appoint the NDPP while Zuma is president.

Mlambo said the president was too conflicted to appoint the NDPP, as he himself faces possible criminal charges.

Zuma had until last week to furnish reasons why he should not be charged on 18 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering that were dropped by former acting NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe in 2009.

Shaun Abrahams’s appointment as NDPP has been reviewed and set aside.

The office of the NDPP is thus officially now vacant. A new NDPP must be appointed within 60 days.

Former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana's settlement agreement has also been reviewed and set aside. He must repay the R17m golden handshake he received.

The court application was brought by Corruption Watch, Freedom Under  Law and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.

The president, the minister of justice, the National Prosecuting Authority and Abrahams were ordered to pay costs jointly and severally.

The court found that both Zuma and Nxasana had acted “recklessly” with regards to the settlement agreement.

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