Unusually, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and the two judges who sat with him on the Mxolisi Nxasana matter penned a 42-page judgment on a high court case that ran for just two weeks. It’s an extraordinary and welcome judgment. It ruled the 2015 settlement agreement in which President Jacob Zuma essentially paid former national director of public prosecutions Nxasana R17m to go away to be invalid, as is the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as Nxasana’s successor. But its even more far-reaching finding is that Zuma himself is unable to appoint the new national director of public prosecutions because he is too conflicted, given the criminal charges he faces. Instead, the court has ruled that the deputy president must make the appointment within 60 days. Predictably, Zuma wasted no time appealing against the judgment. So before anyone gets too excited at the prospect of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appointing a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) forthwith, it...

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