Picture: GCIS/Kendridge Mathabathe

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Dr Silas Ramaite as acting national director of public prosecutions (NDPP).

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.

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. 

Lobby groups and political parties had hailed the judgment as a first step at cleaning up the NPA and boosting public confidence in the institution.