National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams is heading to the Constitutional Court this week.
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) will approach the apex court to confirm the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, order declaring Abrahams’s appointment in 2015 invalid and setting it aside.
Last week, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, Judge Natvarlal Ranchod and Judge Willem van der Linde reviewed Abrahams’s appointment, declared it invalid and set it aside.
Casac’s Lawson Naidoo said President Jacob Zuma’s looming appeal of Friday’s decision would also need to go before the Constitutional Court as the high court judges referred it to the highest court in the land.
Naidoo said Abrahams was still the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) until Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed his replacement within 60 days, as ordered by the high court.
Abrahams yesterday gave Zuma an additional two months to make representations on the reinstatement of fraud and corruption charges against him.
The move has angered the DA, which has waged a relentless campaign and court cases to have the charges reinstated.
”The DA is also disappointed that Abrahams still refuses to treat Mr Zuma like any other accused,” said the official opposition’s federal council chairperson, James Selfe.
According to the DA, in the normal course of justice, an accused person would be charged before a court of law and only then be given the opportunity to make representations.
But, Selfe said, Zuma continued to receive special treatment and is yet to be charged like any other citizen.
Zuma’s representations were due to be submitted by the end of business on November 30.
The president had requested to be given until February 19 to make his representations.
On Sunday, Abrahams informed the DA’s lawyers, Minde Schapiro & Smith Attorneys, that he was giving Zuma until the end of next month to make the representations.
The DA had earlier demanded access to Zuma’s representations but Abrahams said he would communicate with the party after receiving the president’s representations.
“I have in addition advised the legal representative of Mr Zuma that no further request for an extension for the submission of his representations will be entertained,” he said.
The judges also declared sections of the NPA Act unconstitutional and invalid as they allow Zuma to unilaterally suspend the NDPP and his or her deputies indefinitely and without pay.
The declaration of invalidity was suspended for 18 months and referred to the Constitutional Court for confirmation.
According to the judgment, the NDPP and his or her deputies cannot be suspended for longer than six months and must be paid while suspended.
University of South Africa Emeritus Professor Shadrack Gutto described the judgment as a very important decision that would help the country to move forward.
He said the judgment was the judiciary examining the executive arm of the state, and also offered an opportunity for the public to do the same.