The plot apparently thickens! The suitability of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana to hold office has come into further question and the newly appointed Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, is reportedly seeking an audience with President Zuma in an attempt to resolve the issue.
Mxolisi Sandile Oliver Nxasana, born in 1947, was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in August, 2013, the first appointment since his predecessor, Vusi Pikoli was given the sack by the then President Mbeki in 2007. A former journalist and legal practitioner, Nxasana was the chairman of the Durban chapter of the Black Lawyers Association before his ascension to the now controversial position.
The controversy surrounding NPA’s position emanates from his numerous brushes with the law and the fact that he did not find it necessary to report it when he was seeking clearance. It is reported that Nxasana’s biggest brush with the law was when he was tried for murder back in the 1980s. Apparently, eighteen year old Mxolisi and his friends had visited his girlfriend and were set upon by another group of youths. He is said to have armed himself with a knife and stabbed one of the youths attacking them. The youth later died. Nxasana, however insists that he went to the police and reported what had transpired, was tried in a court of law and properly acquitted because a competent court found that he had acted within the confines of self defence. Another issue that his detractors seem to have with him is that later on, he was pulled over by a police reservist who accused him of reckless driving. The case was however not prosecuted and Nxasana actually laid charges against the reservist. He says this part of his history should not prevent him from mantaining his position.
It has been reported in the media that the outgoing justice minister, Jeff Radebe, actually advised the new NDPP to step down a few days before he was relieved of his justice portfolio by President Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle. Mxolisi Nxasana argues that he was not obliged to report the two incidents because they both never came to fruition. However, Radebe contends that he should have brought this to the attention of those doing his security clearance. The fact that he did not mention this is a reflection of his character, said newly appointed Justice Minister Masutha. He added that he feels strongly that he may have to recommend to President Zuma that Nxasana be suspended.
Nxasana insists on the other hand that the dredging up of his past is based on the erroneous belief that he wants to reinstate charges against President Zuma together with other high profile cases from some time ago. He argues how he can resuscitate these cases when he has not seen the pertinent dockets.