South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, filed a notice to appeal the High Court in Pretoria ruling that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

In papers filed in the Constitutional Court, Zuma said that the court “erred in law” when it found that he was “unable” to perform his powers as president in relation to the appointment of a NDPP, but able to perform his other functions as president.

“A position not authorised by the Constitution,” the court papers read.

“The court a quo erred in law in holding to be constitutionally permissible to have two presidents in the country at the same time and both exercising presidential powers.”

On December 8, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Zuma would not be able to appoint a new NDPP, saying he was “conflicted” given the fact that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was deciding whether to reinstate 783 counts of, among others, corruption, racketeering and fraud against the president after the case was withdrawn in 2009.

The court instructed Ramaphosa, to appoint a new prosecutions boss within the next 60 days.

The case was brought by Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law

The court also set aside the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as NDPP. A full bench, led by the court’s judge president Dustan Mlambo, also found that it would not be just for the former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana to be reinstated. 

Nxasana was appointed in August 2013, but the very next year faced an inquiry into his fitness to hold office. After first refusing to resign, he left he NPA in June 2015. Nxasana said he did not approach Zuma, but the president came to him, implying Zuma had lied under oath in an affidavit that the former NDPP had left his post voluntarily and had not been forced to do so.

Mlambo ruled it would not be just to bring Nxasana back and at the same time to keep Abrahams in office. The court also ordered Nxasana to pay back the R17 million settlement he received.

– African News Agency (ANA)