President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE


President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday withdrew an appeal lodged by his predecessor Jacob Zuma against a court ruling that National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams’s appointment be nullified.

According to a letter sent by the state attorney to the registrar of the Constitutional Court on Friday‚ “regime change” – and discussions with Ramaphosa – had led to the decision.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's request to the Constitutional Court, submitted by the State Attorney, Pretoria

This comes after Zuma last month appealed a North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruling that the former head of state was too conflicted to appoint anyone to the position of the National Director of Public Prosecutions – this because he might himself be facing criminal charges.

The case was meant to be heard on February 28.

“With the current regime change and after consultation with the current President of the Republic of SA‚ we are instructed to inform this Court‚ that the first respondent [the President] is no longer prosecuting its appeal and therefore will not be present to argue the matter on February 2018‚” the letter reads.

It said‚ however‚ that Zuma still had the option to make representations in his personal capacity.

“To the extent that the former president may want to pursue argument on matters affecting him personally he may do so through his legal representatives‚” it reads. Should Zuma take this route, there is the possibility that he will have to foot the legal bills himself, as he is no longer a public representative.

Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution‚ which is one of the parties to the case‚ said this development wouldn’t prevent the case going ahead.