20/02/2018 04:47 SAST | Updated 20/02/2018 06:58 SAST

Who Will Head the NPA If Shaun The Sheep Gets The Chop?

If President Cyril Ramaphosa is to clean up government, he will need to replace Shaun Abrahams as NPA boss. Who should replace him? We have 3 suggestions...

Head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Shaun Abrahams.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Shaun Abrahams.

All eyes have turned to national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams, after President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to fix leadership issues at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) urgently.

In his state of the nation address, Ramaphosa said: "We will urgently attend to the leadership issues at the [NPA] to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered."

To deliver on that promise, Ramaphosa will have to grab the bull by the horns and take aim at Abrahams, who has come under fire for supposedly shielding former president Jacob Zuma, his state-capture associates, and his family from prosecution.

READ: 'New Dawn': Ramaphosa Vows Radical Renewal.

The courts have given Ramaphosa additional ammunition. Last year, the High Court in Pretoria set aside the termination of former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana's contract. It also ordered that Abrahams' appointment was invalid and void. It gave Ramaphosa, who was deputy president at the time, the power to appoint Abrahams' replacement.

READ: Ramaphosa's Cabinet: Who'll Be In And Who'll Be Out?

But Abrahams and Zuma have appealed the decision, stalling the process until an appeal is decided upon.

Who would be a suitable replacement? These are our top picks:

Vusi Pikoli:

Former president Thabo Mbeki suspended Pikoli as head of the NPA in 2007, citing a breakdown in relations between Pikoli and former justice minister Brigitte Mabandla.

But it was widely believed that Pikoli was axed because his office planned to arrest then-police boss, Jackie Selebi, on serious corruption allegations. A year later, Pikoli was fired by Mbeki's presidential successor, Kgalema Motlanthe.

Pikoli has a long and admirable career in law and serves as a member of the EU Foundation for Human Rights and the Magistrate's Commission. His track record in the NPA is unblemished, and he is familiar with the role.

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Former National Prosecuting Authority head Vusi Pikoli.

Thuli Madonsela:

As the country's celebrated former public protector, Madonsela was hailed for tackling allegations of state capture head on, and not shying away despite the political anxiety surrounding the matter. She was also fearless against Zuma while dealing with the Nkandla scandal.

Madonsela is a qualified and admitted advocate who remains faithful to the interests of justice and the nation as a whole.

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Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Mahomed Navsa:

Navsa is a no-nonsense judge serving on the Supreme Court of Appeal. He has made headlines for his firm and meticulous handling of various high-profile cases, including an appeal by Zuma last year against a decision to have 783 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money-laundering against him reinstated.

In previous judgments, he put the crooked Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown away for 15 years, and ruled that the environmental plans of corporates should be public documents. In another case before him, he put former SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng through his paces.

Navsa would likely provide a stern hand while restoring the integrity of the NPA.

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Supreme Court of Appeal's judge Mahomed Navsa.