The DA has taken note of media reports indicating that former National Director of Public Prosecutions (“NDPP”), Advocate Shaun Abrahams, has retired. It is manifestly clear that this is a way for Advocate Abrahams to avoid the consequences of the damage he has wrought on the institution of the National Prosecuting Authority in the past three years.
The DA will therefore probe the rationale for the decision to grant him retirement, as well as the basis on which his benefits will be determined.
While employed as NDPP, Shaun Abrahams demonstrated that he is a deeply compromised individual with an extremely poor grasp of basic legal principles and that he has no respect for the rule of law. His time at the head of the NPA was marked by political persecutions and a weakening of the institution’s independence, which opened the door for the executive branch of the ANC government to exercise undue influence over prosecutions. He also oversaw an exodus of talented and qualified prosecutors who could no longer serve under his compromised leadership.
Earlier this month, his appointment as NDPP was set aside by the Constitutional Court, which court determined that he was never lawfully appointed.
The DA therefore believe that Advocate Abrahams’ retirement benefits should not be those that would be due to a retiring NDPP, but should instead be that attached to Advocate Abrahams’ last held position, that of a senior state advocate in the Priority Crimes Litigation department.
The DA will also question the rationale for Abrahams’ exit from the NPA being processed as a retirement. Ironically, one of the biggest blunders from Abrahams’ ill-fated stint as NDPP was the persecution of Minister Pravin Gordhan and senior SARS officials, Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashule, over the alleged unlawful approval of Gordhan’s early retirement.
South Africans deserve a criminal justice system that is independent, just, and effective. The NPA under Abrahams was the exact opposite. His exit is a welcome close to an awful chapter. He will not be missed.