NEWS
14/06/2018 04:48 SAST | Updated 14/06/2018 08:44 SAST

Shaun Abrahams And Busisiwe Mkhwebane – How Long Will They Still Keep Their Jobs?

Judgment has been reserved on both public servants' fitness to hold office...

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.

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Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

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.

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.

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National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss; advocate Shaun Abrahams.

"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.

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.

Read: Public Protector Apologises In Person To Fuming MPs For Missing Meeting

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.