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Pretoria - No decision has been taken on how to handle NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana's security clearance, Justice Minister Mike Masutha said on Monday.
“We have... been in liaison with the office of the president,” he told reporters in Pretoria.
“The decision has not yet been taken on the appropriate course of action.”
Former justice minister Jeff Radebe reportedly instructed Nxasana to resign a few days before the new Cabinet was announced.
Nxasana had apparently not been given a security clearance because of past brushes with the law. He has refused to resign.
Masutha pointed out on Monday that under the National Prosecuting Authority Act President Jacob Zuma had the power to initiate an inquiry into Nxasana.
“No action has been taken so far or decided on so far.”
He said because of Zuma's ill health the matter had not been dealt with expediently.
“Due process will be followed and the nation will be taken into confidence on the decision of the president.”
According to media reports, Nxasana stood trial in 1985 for murder but was acquitted, based on his version of self-defence.
He reportedly also admitted to being arrested for “careless driving and refusing arrest” in September last year. In addition he was fined R2000, suspended for three years, by the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society for misconduct about 12 years ago.
Nxasana has vowed to challenge the matter in court or an inquiry should he be fired.
On Friday, the Mail&Guardian reported that NPA security head Tshilidzi Ramahana wrote to the NPA's CEO defending himself after receiving a suspension notice over Nxasana's security clearance.
NPA chief executive Karen van Rensburg apparently sent Ramahana
a suspension notice on Tuesday, citing “gross insubordination and gross misconduct” for refusing to take responsibility for Nxasana's failure to disclose the murder he was acquitted of.
Masutha met NPA officials on Monday afternoon.
“We have (asked) colleagues at the NPA's senior management to desist from indulging in any activity that seeks to pre-empt or interfere in any way... in the process I just outlined,” he said.
“People should not be panicking... taking action to protect themselves.”
Due process would be followed, the minister assured.
He said he met Nxasana privately on Monday.
“Mr Nxasana is still the head of the NPA... and holds all authority relating to running of the institution.”