PRETORIA - The appointment of Shaun Abrahams as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) was unlawful and must be set aside.
That was the finding of a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court on Friday.
Civil society organisations had approached the court to have the R17-million golden handshake received by Abrahams' predecessor, Mxolisi Nxasana, declared invalid.
Nxasana has claimed he was forced by President Jacob Zuma to resign. Zuma has denied this.
The former NPA has since said he is willing to pay back the settlement and return to his position.
Judge President Mlambo continues saying it was common cause that the amount of R17.3 million was far more than the severance package #Nxasana would have received from the #NPA package. #NxasanaJudgment— Erin Bates (@ermbates) December 8, 2017
#NxasanaJudgment Gauteng Judge President Mlambo says in the last decade there have been four permanent NDPPs and nearly half of that time there were acting NDPPs. He adds the parties in this case agree that the changes render the period "one of paralysing instability" for #NPA— Erin Bates (@ermbates) December 8, 2017
Mlambo says it is the bench's view that the monetary offer to #Nxasana was not initiated by him but followed after he initiated an inquiry into the fitness of office of Jiba and others. #NxasanaJudgment— Erin Bates (@ermbates) December 8, 2017
Mlambo says there is an inference Zuma knew he was acting unlawfully but that inference is based on written evidence, an affidavit, and not viva voce (or, spoken testimony) from Zuma. So, the bench prefers to conclude he was only reckless.— Erin Bates (@ermbates) December 8, 2017
Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said Nxasana's resignation was procured by the promise of unlawful rewards.
The judges said it "would not be just" to reinstate Nxasana or to allow Abrahams to remain.
The court determined that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa now has 60 days to appoint a new NDPP.