Nxasana loses bid to introduce answering affidavit over 'golden handshake'

Adv Michelle le Roux argued 'delay in submission was justifiable', judges disagreed

Nxasana loses bid to introduce answering affidavit over 'golden handshake'

20 November 2017

Pretoria - Former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Mxolisi Nxasana has lost his bid to introduce his version of events in an application to have his golden handshake set aside.

The application was launched by Corruption Watch, Freedom Under Law and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), seeking an order declaring the removal of Nxasana invalid.

The organisations maintain that Nxasana had not requested to vacate his office, as is required by the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

The Helen Suzman Foundation, acting as a friend of the court, intends to make oral submissions regarding the structural and operational independence that is required of the office of the NDPP, it said.

Nxasana, who is cited as the fourth respondent, had applied to have his answering affidavit introduced, which purports to contain his version of events. However, the application was dismissed with costs on Monday by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

His legal representative, Advocate Michelle le Roux, had argued before a full bench of judges that his delay in submission was justifiable.

She argued that, should his affidavit not be included in the hearing, the court would only have President Jacob Zuma's version of events.

She said Nxasana had always wanted to file his affidavits.

Delayed submission 'demonstrably false'

But Advocate Ishmael Semenya, SC, representing Zuma, said Nxasana had had an oral conversation with the president and that no document could prove what was said.

"Nxasana’s answering affidavit doesn't answer anything," he said.

Semenya said Nxasana had taken more than a year to file his affidavits.

"That can't be a good reason. The conversation he had with the president was oral. This application should be refused," he said.

Semenya added that it was "bad precedent" for Nxasana to be allowed to file his affidavit more than a year later.

He also said the delay of submitting his affidavits were "demonstrably false".

Nxasana accepted a golden handshake of R17.3m from Zuma and left the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2015.

Before that, an inquiry into his fitness to hold office was abruptly halted, without any explanation.

In an exclusive interview with News24, Nxasana said he still believes his departure was linked to the corruption charges against the president, with some fearing that he would reinstate them.