Johannesburg - Former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana has told the state capture inquiry that former Justice Minister Jeff Radebe promised controversial former top prosecutor Nomgcobo Jiba the NDPP position.
Nxasana, who started giving evidence at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday morning, said that he learned that Radebe had promised Jiba would be named permanent National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss.
Jiba acted in the position after NDPP Menzi Simelane was forced out of the NPA following a scathing Constitutional Court judgment that declared his appointment invalid, irrational and unconstitutional in 2012.
According to Nxasana, after his appointment there was no handover process between him and Jiba.
In fact, Nxasana continued, he instructed Jiba to do a proper handover but she did not comply.
Nxasana told the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he never applied for the NDPP position and was never interviewed.
Instead, he met former president Jacob Zuma, his then attorney Michael Hulley and legal adviser Bonisile Makhene on August 29, 2013, the day before his appointment.
"I never thought one day I would become a prosecutor, I chose to be an attorney,” Nxasana said.
Nxasana’s meeting with Zuma, Hulley and Makhene lasted under half-an-hour and he was asked whether he had the courage to be NPA head.
Nxasana said he took Zuma’s question to ask whether he thought he would be able to take decisions independently.
Zuma, Nxasana added, also warned him in IsiZulu, likening the position to walking into a place in which spears are pointing at you.
"Ifana nemikhonto esuka ibheke kuwena (It’s like spears that are pointing),” Zuma told Nxasana.
Hulley had earlier told Nxasana that he had been recommended by his colleagues in Durban but was not part of the initial three names that he (Hulley) had.