Mosiuoa Lekota. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Mosiuoa Lekota. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has ruled out involving parliament in the process of appointing a new national director of public prosecutions (NDPP).

With the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) bedevilled by a leadership and credibility crisis over the years, opposition parties have been calling on the president to involve parliament before appointing the head of the organisation. No NDPP has served a full 10-year term since the NPA’s formation, with all of them leaving under a cloud.

The constitution does not provide for the involvement of parliament in the appointment of the national director.

Responding in parliament on Wednesday to COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota’s written question, Ramaphosa pointed out that section 179(1)(a) of the constitution provides that the NDPP is appointed by the president, as head of the national executive.

Lekota wanted to know whether Ramaphosa intends "to ensure that the process is transparent and open".

"It is an executive appointment, constitutionally distinguished from those institutions whose members’ appointment involves parliament," Ramaphosa said.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said recently the party will soon introduce a private member’s bill, which requires that the president’s decision be informed by a resolution of the National Assembly passed with a supporting vote of at least 60% of the members. The resolution should be based on the recommendation of a committee of the National Assembly.