News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
9 Dec 2017
7:42 am

Timeline of woeful presidential moves that paralysed the NPA

Ilse de Lange

A full bench of the high court has pointed out that the recent history of the National Prosecuting Authority had been one of 'paralysing instability'.

The NDPP had four national directors in the past ten years, and for nearly half of that period an acting director.

They sketched a timeline of the events leading up to Mxolisi Nxasana agreeing to vacate the post in exchange for a R17.3 million payout and the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as NDPP, beginning in June 2005, when the then NDPP Vusi Pikoli had indicted Jacob Zuma on corruption charges after President Thabo Mbeki six days earlier had fired Zuma as deputy president.

  • September 2007: Pikoli is suspended pending an enquiry into his fitness to hold office.
  • December 2007: Jacob Zuma is elected president of the ANC. Acting NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe indicts him on 18 counts of racketeering, corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and fraud.
  • August 2008: Pikoli obtains a court order interdicting Zuma from appointing a successor.
  • September 2008: Court sets aside Zuma’s indictment because it is “tainted by political interference”.
  • November 2008: An enquiry recommends that Pikoli’s suspension be lifted pending a review application.
  • December 2008: Former President Kgalema Motlanthe removes Pikoli from office.
  • January 2009: SCA overturns court judgment setting aside Zuma’s indictment.
  • April 2009: Mokotedi Mpshe withdraws charges against Zuma. DA launches review.
  • May 2009: Jacob Zuma is elected as President.
  • November 2009: Pikoli and President Zuma reach an agreement that he will resign for R7.5 million. Zuma appoints Menzi Simelande as NDPP.
  • December 2011: SCA sets aside Simelane’s appointment. President Zuma suspends him and appoints Nomgcobo Jiba as acting NDPP.
  • October 2012: Constitutional Court endorses setting aside of Simelane’s appointment.
  • September 2013: Courts make adverse findings against senior NPA officials Jiba, Mrwebi and Mzinyathi for withdrawing criminal charges against General Richard Mdluli.
  • October 2013: President Zuma appoints Mxolisi Nxasana as NDPP.
  • July 2014: Acting NDPP Willie Hofmeyr asks justice minister to ask president to suspend Jiba, Lawrence Mrwebi and Sibongile Mzinyathi. President advises Nxasana that he in tends investigating his fitness to hold office.
  • March 2015: President offers Nxasana R10.5 million to leave. He declines.
  • May 2015: President and Nxasana concludes a R17.3 million settlement for him to leave.
  • June 2015: Shaun Abrahams is appointed as NDPP. He withdraws criminal proceedings the NPA had instituted on Jiba.
  • April 2016: Full bench of high court sets aside Mpshe’s decision to withdraw the Zuma charges.
  • September 2016: Jiba, Mrwebi struck from roll of advocates.
  • October 2017: SCA rules criminal charges against Zuma must be reinstated.

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