President Cyril Ramaphosa is studying the Constitutional Court judgment that declared the 2015 appointment of NPA head Shaun Abrahams invalid. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa is studying Monday's Constitutional Court judgment that declared the 2015 appointment of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams invalid and unconstitutional.

The court ordered Ramaphosa to appoint a new national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) within three months. 

"The Presidency is currently studying the judgment, cognisant of the order of the court directing the president to appoint an NDPP within 90 days of this order. In studying this judgment, the Presidency is guided by the undertaking given by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the February 2018 State of the Nation Address that South Africa’s law enforcement institutions would be strengthened and shielded from external interference or manipulation," spokeswoman Khusela Diko said in a statement.

"President Ramaphosa also undertook that urgent attention would be given to leadership issues at the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered. Seps to be taken arising from the Constitutional Court judgment will be communicated in due course."

Abrahams and the NPA approached the highest court to appeal a judgment last year, that ruled that the removal from the post of former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana, who received a R17.3 million golden handshake, was unlawful, and therefore rendering Abrahams' appointment by former president Jacob Zuma invalid.  

The high court case was brought by Freedom Under Law (FUL), Corruption Watch and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) who wanted Abrahams' appointment be set aside. 

The organisations also wanted an order reinstating Nxasana or, alternatively, declaring that the position was vacant and a new prosecutions boss must be appointed.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga ordered that Nxasana return the money he was paid by Zuma. He ruled that Nxasana cannot go back to the helm of the NPA, as his return would not help the troubled prosecutions office marred by instability and conflict for many years.

African News Agency (ANA)