Acting NDPP Silas Ramaite. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/ TREVOR SAMSON
Acting NDPP Silas Ramaite. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/ TREVOR SAMSON

The Right2Know Campaign on Tuesday won its battle for the public to watch the interviews that will lead to the appointment of SA’s top prosecutor.

The high court in Pretoria ordered that the interviews of the candidates shortlisted for the post of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) be open to the media and the public.

But the presidency could still challenge this.

The lobby group brought the urgent application to open up the proceedings, which President Cyril Ramaphosa opposed.

Weighing options 

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said the presidency was still weighing up its options on the court order.

She said it was considering the feasibility of the interviews proceeding as scheduled on Wednesday and if the judgment should be challenged.

Ramaphosa made an undertaking in February that he would deal with the "leadership issues" of the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that the NPA was "stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered."

The appointment of the NDPP is a power vested in the president and is not a public process. But Ramaphosa has veered away from the tradition by establishing an advisory panel to shortlist the candidates.

The president has until December 19 to appoint a replacement for ousted NDPP Shaun Abrahams.

The appointment of Abrahams was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.

Transparency

Right2Know’s Dale McKinley welcomed Tuesday’s judgment, saying it was an affirmation of the constitutional right of openness and transparency.

He said this was ‘‘good for our democracy’’, given the history of factional battles within the NPA.

Among the prominent candidates to be interviewed are Shamila Batohi, a former director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal; Glynnis Breytenbach, DA MP and former state prosecutor; Western Cape DPP Rodney de Kock; and current acting NDPP Silas Ramaite.

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