President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa will appoint an acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court ruled that Shaun Abrahams’s appointment by former president Jacob Zuma was "constitutionally invalid", the Presidency has confirmed.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority Act, the president has to appoint one of the four deputies as acting national director of public prosecutions. The current deputies are Willie Hofmeyr, Nomvula Mokhatla, Nomgcobo Jiba and Silas Ramaite.

The court has given Ramaphosa 90 days to appoint a new national director of public prosecutions.

Speculation is rife over who will succeed Abrahams permanently. A highly placed source said former national director of prosecutions Vusi Pikoli, Western Cape director of prosecutions Rodney de Kock and former auditor-general Terence Nombembe are under consideration. However, the national director has to be an advocate, which rules out Nombembe, a chartered accountant. Nombembe declined to say whether he has been approached.

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SA’s highest court ruled on August 13 2018 that advocate Shaun Abrahams was not validly appointed to lead the National Prosecuting Authority.