SA’s former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mxolisi Nxasana says he would want his old job returned to him as he is ready to pay back a portion of the R17.3m golden handshake he received from the government to walk away from his job.
The former NPA boss was forced to resign by Jacob Zuma’s strong allies who suspected he would reinstate the 783 fraud and corruption charges against the president if he is allowed to stay longer.
He, therefore, said he would not be opposing a court application by Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law to have the deal that was reached with him declared null and void.
The application is expected to be heard in the North Gauteng High Court early in 2017 and Nxasana said he would anxiously wait for that day as its success will make him eligible for his old job.
“I would like to go back to my old job as the head of the NPA. I believe that I am fit and I can do the work to the best of my ability. When I was removed, it was clear that I was not removed because I could not do my job without fear or favour. In fact, I was pressured to go specifically because I was not malleable. I was threatened with a commission of inquiry into my fitness to hold office,” Mxolisi Nxasana said as he look forward to replacing current NPA head Shaun Abrahams who has had it hot since NPA’s withdrawal of charges against the finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
“I am not going to oppose the application by Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law simply because I believe that the commission by the president into my fitness to hold office would have cleared me,” he said as he recalls that when he was NPA head, he did not take “a single decision” that was influenced by outside pressure, “whether political or otherwise”.
“All my decisions have not been successfully challenged in court because I had taken them without fear or favour, which was part of my mandate as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).”
In court papers, NGOs want the court to order Mxolisi Nxasana to be reinstated to his old position as NPA head because he did not leave on his own volition but had been “pressured to resign”, and that the appointment of Abrahams be removed because the position of the NPA boss had not been “vacant”.
To the Non-Governmental organization, the NPA Act provides for “very limited grounds for the removal or resignation of an NDPP and does not make provision for the type of settlement agreement concluded between Nxasana and the president.”
Meanwhile, Corruption Watch’s senior legal counsel, Leanne Govindsamy said the contention over Zuma’s 783 frauds and corruption cases are still on and that Zuma was in no position to appoint or remove the NPA chief.
“Section 96(2)(b) of the constitution provides that the president is not to act in a manner which exposes himself to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between his official responsibilities and his private interests,” she said.