Picture: GCIS

Johannesburg - The new national director of public prosecutions Dr Silas Ramaite has a long history with the national prosecuting authority, including a brief stint as acting NDPP. 

Ramaite has served 15 years as the NPA deputy director responsible for administration and office for witness protection. 

But he has also had his own brush with the law after he was arrested and charged for drunken driving in Limpopo in 2011. Ramaite allegedly crashed his luxury Jaguar into a Nissan bakkie and was later released on R1000 bail. 

He was not suspended after the incident and the charges were later withdrawn. 

Ramaphosa announced his appointment of Ramaite as the acting head of the NPA on Tuesday and said Monday's Constitutional Court judgment had set the prosecuting authority on a new path to restore its credibility. 

Ramaphosa's announcement follows the Constitutional Court ruling that found the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as NDPP was unlawful. 

The court judgment delivered on Monday 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. 

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. 

He holds the degrees B.Proc (University of Fort Hare), LL.B; LL.M, specialising in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public International Law and LL.D, specialising in Constitutional Law (University of South Africa). He was admitted as an advocate of the Supreme Court in 1988 and was granted the status of senior counsel (SC) in 2001. 

Prior to his appointment as deputy national director of public prosecutions in 2003, Ramaite was a special director of public prosecutions in the office of the national director from 2001 to 2003 and the director of public prosecutions for North Gauteng from 1998 to 2001.

Ramaite has worked variously as an Interpreter, clerk of the court, public prosecutor, magistrate, candidate attorney, state advocate, senior state advocate and was appointed a deputy attorney-general in Pretoria in 1996.

 In 1997, he was the chief evidence leader in the Goldstone Commission, appointed by the President to inquire into allegations arising from the TRC Commission in relation to the Heidelberg Tavern Massacre. 

He has appeared as State Counsel in many reported cases, both in the Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court. Ramaite also previously lectured at a university in the law of delict, environmental law and constitutional law. 

He is a member of various professional and research institutions, among others the Australian Institute of Governance, Social Sciences Research Network and the International Association of Business Communicators and was formerly an active member of Lawyers for Human Rights. He is also a Licensed Financial Analyst. 

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