Picture: Kendridge Mathabathe

Johannesburg - The ANC says President Cyril Ramaphosa swift appointment of Dr Salis Ramaite as the acting NPA boss will go a long way in restoring public trust in the national prosecuting authority. 

Ramaphosa announced his decision on Tuesday and said the Constitutional Court judgment had set the prosecuting authority on a new path to restore its credibility. 

"This prompt and resolute action will go some way in ensuring that the nation regains confidence in this institution that is extremely critical to the integrity, stability and effectiveness of the criminal justice system," said ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe. 

Ramaite currently serves as the NPA deputy director responsible for administration and office for witness protection. This is a position he has held for 15 years. 

On Monday, the Constitutional Court ruled that the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as NDPP was unlawful. 

The apex court said former president Jacob Zuma had abused his power in negotiating for former NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana's departure. It said the manner in which Nxasana left office was illegal along with the R17 million golden handshake he received. 

The court found that it would not be just and equitable for Nxasana to return to his job and that it was also not possible for Abrahams to stay on as the head of the NPA. 

Ramaphosa was ordered to appoint a new NPA head within 90 days. 

Ramaite was appointed in his current position back in 2003 by former president Thabo Mbeki. 

He previously acted as NDPP after Nxasana departure in 2015. 

Not everyone is happy with Ramaphosa's choice.

The DA has criticised Ramaphosa’s appointment of Ramaite and said he had defended the NPA’s decision to not prosecute president Jacob Zuma for corruption charges.  

“Ramaite has in the past defended the decision of former NDPP Bulelani Ngcuka to not institute corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma in the infamous “Spy Tapes” saga. He even went so far as to acknowledge his own co-responsibility on the issue,” said the DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach. 

“He has sat idly by while successive NDPP’s and Acting NDPP’s, including Mokotedi Mpshe, Menzi Simelane, Nomgcobo Jiba and Shaun Abrahams systematically destroyed the fabric of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and South Africa’s criminal justice system. His track record proves that, at best, he is weak, vacillating and pliable,” she said. 

The party has urged Ramaphosa to quickly appoint a permanent NDPP.