President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday withdrew an appeal lodged by his predecessor‚ Jacob Zuma‚ against a court ruling that the appointment of the National Prosecuting Authority‚ Shaun Abrahams‚ should be set aside and that he was too conflicted to appoint anyone to the position.
Zuma appealed the ruling last month and the case was set down for February 28.
The state attorney’s letter to Constitutional Court stated:[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“With the current regime change and after consultation with the current President of the Republic of South Africa‚ we are instructed to inform this Court‚ that the first respondent [the President] is no longer prosecuting its appear and therefore will not be present to argue the matter on 28 February 2018.”
It also said Zuma still had the option to continue the appeal in his personal capacity.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“To the extent that the former president may want to pursue argument on matters affecting him personally he may do so through his legal representatives.”
As deputy president‚ Ramaphosa had previously filed a notice to abide by the court’s decision.
Lawson Naidoo‚ of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution‚ which is one of the parties to the case‚ said this development wouldn’t prevent it from going ahead.
The Presidency on Friday confirmed the withdrawal of the president’s appeal.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated to the Constitutional Court that he will withdraw the appeal filed in the matter of Corruption Watch and Others v The President of the Republic of South Africa‚ which concerns the appointment of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). The only issue that had been appealed by the President of the Republic was whether or not the former President or his then Deputy should appoint the NDPP.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“That matter is now moot‚” the Presidency said in a statement.
It added that Ramaphosa would not be in court on Wednesday when the Constitutional Court considered whether or not to confirm the high court’s decision that some sections of the National Prosecuting Authority Act – those dealing with suspension of the NDPP – were unconstitutional.
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