This week, when the Constitutional Court ruled that the appointment of advocate Shaun Abrahams as national director of public prosecutions was invalid, it did far more than simply remove him from office. Effectively, the court gave President Cyril Ramaphosa a master class in how to preserve the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) from the cancer of political interference that has been eating away at the organisation for over a decade. It was a cancer, of course, that was inextricably linked to former president Jacob Zuma and his own desperate campaign to avoid prosecution. "The NPA plays a pivotal role in the administration of justice," said Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga. "With a malleable, corrupt or dysfunctional prosecuting authority, many criminals, especially those holding positions of influence, will rarely, if ever, answer for their criminal deeds." It means, said Madlanga, that functionaries within the NPA may then be pressured "into pursuing prosecutions to advance a politica...

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