The respective heads of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Public Protector, each at the helm of an institution responsible for upholding justice in South Africa, are both staring down the barrel in separate matters that will eventually decide their fates.
National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane have both taken flak for the management of their institutions. The Constitutional Court is yet to rule on Abrahams' future, while MPs are mulling a possible investigation into her fitness for office.
But there is no clarity on when a decision will be made in either matter.
The onslaught against the NDPP began in December last year, when the High Court in Pretoria declared that Abrahams' placement at the helm of the NPA was invalid — because his predecessor Mxolisi Nxasana's appointment and exit on a huge and invalid golden handshake of R17-million had been illegal.
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It's been over three months since Concourt heard arguments on whether #ShaunAbrahams should remain head of the NPA....— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) June 7, 2018
and CC's delay in delivering this massively important ruling suggests it may be divided on whether Abrahams should stay, or go. https://t.co/1ClT6favnf
The court left the responsibility of appointing his replacement to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who at the time was former president Jacob Zuma's deputy. Zuma and Abrahams appealed the decision, but with Zuma out of office, Ramaphosa withdrew the presidency's appeal and left Abrahams out in the cold to fight for his job.
In February, Abrahams tried to convince the Constitutional Court that he should keep his job. The court reserved its judgment.
Judiciary spokesperson Nathi Mncube told HuffPost there has been no confirmation on a date for delivery of this judgment.
"When a court reserves judgment, it can give a date for when judgment will be heard in some instances. It remains reserved until the court notifies all parties that they are ready to proceed. We have not had that confirmation," he said.
Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office is under the microscope after a number of her recent reports attracted criticism.
During Mkhwebane tenure, there has been 25 000 complaints, with 21 000 resolved - her office reports. There has been 1 taken to Court and set aside - it involved ABSA.— Esethu Hasane (@EsethuHasane_) June 11, 2018
And because of that, she isn't fit for office and must go.
On Wednesday, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen briefed Parliament's portfolio committee on justice and correctional services on the party's request to expedite the procedure to remove her from office.
But committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said it resolved to reserve its decision on whether or not to hold an inquiry into Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office until she has had an opportunity to respond to the complaints against her.
"I believe in the rule of natural justice, and therefore the committee must hear the other side... [Steenhuisen] can set his complaint out in writing. The committee will inform the public protector of it, and request her response in writing before we make a determination on whether to call her to elaborate on it. The committee will after this also decide on the necessity for an inquiry," said Motshekga.
For South Africa and two of its vital public institutions, justice will apparently be delayed a while longer.
** This story has been edited for accuracy since it was originally published.