Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mxolisi Nxasana says he feels exonerated by the Constitutional Court, which on Monday struck aside the exit deal he was forced to sign with former president Jacob Zuma.

Nxasana left office in 2015 after reaching an out-of-court settlement that saw him pocket R10.2m, after his R17m golden handshake was taxed. This was shortly after Zuma instituted a probe into his fitness to hold office following several media leaks about Nxasana’s past.

In an interview with Ukhozi FM on Tuesday, Nxasana said he did his best to lead the NPA towards efficiency but Zuma interfered and took sides in the organisation’s leadership squabbles. He said Zuma did this solely to further his political ends.

"The Constitutional Court judges vindicated me. They were correct in everything, that former president Zuma acted unlawfully by interfering in the work of the NPA. They were also correct in saying that I did everything to do the right thing as the head of the NPA."

Nxasana added: "I tried everything to keep my job despite relentless efforts to use my underlings to undermine my authority and discredit my name and eventually get rid of me.

"I took the former president to court to stop him from interfering. I appointed a commission to look at the workings of the NPA, but throughout this period relentless efforts were made to hound me out.

"No NPA head stayed until full term… Some people who work within NPA are working to further the interest of other people. They have special agendas. Whoever is appointed head I wish him/her well," he said.

On returning the windfall he received, Nxasana said: "I have no choice but to pay [back] this money. This was the apex court and there is no other recourse.

"I will have to abide by its decision and pay back the money. I wish the new head of the NPA all the best in his job."