POLITICS
08/03/2018 05:38 SAST | Updated 08/03/2018 05:38 SAST

'Skillful, Competent' Shaun Abrahams Right For The Job – Justice Minister Masutha

"The competence, skill, experience that he exudes and displays in his work... gives me confidence that he is the man for the job".

South African Justice Minister Michael Masutha gives a press briefing in Pretoria on October 21, 2016 regarding South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images
South African Justice Minister Michael Masutha gives a press briefing in Pretoria on October 21, 2016 regarding South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Under fire National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams has found a supporter in Justice Minister Michael Masutha, who has described him as skilled, competent and experienced.

Masutha was answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday, when IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa asked him if "unfit" Abrahams should continue in his job.

READ: Molifi Tshabalala -- This Is Why Shaun Abrahams Is Unfit To Hold Office

Abrahams had overseen a period of great instability at the NPA as National Director of Public Prosecutions, and was said by the Hawks to be "hindering" investigations into state capture, Hlengwa said.

Masutha, as minister responsible for the NPA, said Abrahams' profession conduct during his interactions with him was nothing short of stellar.

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images
South African National Prosecuting Authority Shaun Abrahams (R) holds a press conference on May 23, 2016 at the NPA Head Office in Pretoria.

"The member is aware it is my responsibility to exercise final responsibility of the National Prosecuting Authority. I discharge that duty by interacting with the national director on a regular basis.

"And I must state, the competence, the skill, the experience that he exudes and displays in his work, to the extent that my interaction with him has revealed, gives me confidence that he is the man for the job."

Masutha was originally asked by DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach if he was involved in the negotiations that saw Abrahams' predecessor Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana leave his post.

Nxasana left the position for a reported settlement of R17m amid rumours he was planning on reinstating the outstanding corruption charges against then president Jacob Zuma.

'My responsibility to support the president'

Masutha said he was not involved in any negotiations, but he signed the agreement as part of his duties as a minister reporting to Zuma.

"As minister of justice, it is my responsibility to support any president in the execution of their responsibilities relating to justice."That is a responsibility that I discharged."

He was also not party to Abrahams' recent court challenge of the North Gauteng High Court's order that Abrahams be replaced, but signed an affidavit, also in his capacity as minister.

Abrahams meanwhile appeared before a joint meeting in Parliament on Wednesday to account for the claims made by the Hawks.

He denied allegations that he was delaying state capture prosecutions, and said those who were facing allegations of state capture would not be let off the hook.

-- News24