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When the Constitutional Court ruled that national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams’s appointment was invalid, it gave President Cyril Ramaphosa what seemed like a legacy-defining gift: the chance to appoint a truly independent and ethically unassailable prosecutions boss. However, two months after the highest court gave Ramaphosa 90 days to appoint a replacement for Abrahams, he has still not done so — and has now turned to a panel of legal experts to help him. While Ramaphosa’s precedent-setting decision to utilise the advice of some of the top legal minds in selecting the new NDPP will arguably be a positive change from a previously opaque and unilateral presidential appointment process, the question remains: why did it take him so long? And why has Ramaphosa taken more than two months to decide whether to institute inquiries into prosecutions heavyweights Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, despite clear public interest in the resolution of questions about the...

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