Ramaphosa choice of Acting NDPP does not bode well for restoring the independence of the NPA

Issued by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP – DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
14 Aug 2018 in News

The DA has taken note of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr. Silas Ramaite, to the position of Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

Ramaite has in the past defended the decision of former NDPP Bulelani Ngcuka to not institute corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma in the infamous “Spy Tapes” saga. He even went so far as to acknowledge his own co-responsibility on the issue, stating in 2004 that “We had made the decision as a collective in the NPA and we stand by it” and that “It was not as if Bulelani sat there in the office and took decisions alone.”

He has sat idly by while successive NDPP’s and Acting NDPP’s, including Mokotedi Mpshe, Menzi Simelane, Nomgcobo Jiba and Shaun Abrahams systematically destroyed the fabric of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and South Africa’s criminal justice system. His track record proves that, at best,  he is weak, vacillating and pliable.

President Ramaphosa must urgently appoint a new permanent NDPP, and it is our belief that he should involve Parliament in the selection process.

Under the ANC, the NPA and other key institutions who charged with combating priority crimes like corruption, have been reduced to mere puppets who serve at the pleasure of the ANC mafia. Over the past decade, they have often been tasked with carrying out political hits rather than being allowed to carry out investigations and prosecutions without fear or favour.

The DA has a plan to ensure that the appointment and removal of the NDPP is subject to proper oversight and accountability. Whereas section 179 of the Constitution currently provides for the NDPP to be appointed by the President, as head of the national executive, we will introduce a Private Member’s Bill that requires that the President’s decision be informed by a resolution of the National Assembly passed with a supporting vote of at least 60% of the members of the National Assembly, which resolution should be based on the recommendation of a committee of the National Assembly.

The NPA has been the plaything of the Executive for far too long. Dr Ramaite’s appointment does nothing to correct that.