President Jacob Zuma File photo: Leon Nicholas

Cape Town - A civil society group may seek to lay charges against President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Michael Masutha for corruption.

Accountability Now director Paul Hoffman said the organisation had made a civil complaint against Zuma and Masutha on Monday at the Ocean View police station for unconstitutionally removing former top prosecutor, Mxolisi Nxasana, from office.

Zuma called off an inquiry into Nxasana’s fitness to continue as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) earlier this year and Nxasana reportedly received a R17 million settlement to quit.

“The question we need to ask is why was he fired? Why was he agreeable to take money instead of working and earning his money off his eight-year term? We say what happened there was corrupt and the money should never have been taken.”

Should the complaint come to nothing, Accountability Now may seek to mount a private prosecution under

Section 9 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act. Hoffman alleges that the settlement agreement with Nxasana was illegal.

 

He said the removal of Nxasana from his post went against the constitution which states that the NDPP must function independently and without fear and prejudice.

“The complaint will be investigated, probably by the Hawks in Bellville and will then be referred to (prosecutors) in Cape Town for a decision on the draft charge sheet attached to the complaint. A prosecution will follow either public or private.”

 

Hoffman’s organisation aims to keep politicians accountable and he said it has laid numerous other complaints.

“Accountability Now has laid charges previously with regard to the reports of the Public Protector on Nkandla, the Dina Pule report and the report into goings-on in the Fisheries Department on the watch of Tina Joemat-Petterssen,” said Hoffman.

Justice Department spokesman, Mthunzi Mhaga said he had only heard about the charges through the media. “We will deal with it as and when the minister and the presidency are served with summons.”

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Cape Argus