He is a Zuma appointment, but the new National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams is already on record saying he won’t be protecting anyone in particular, no matter who. This is one decision Zuma appears to have got right – for a change. This News24 report paints a more human picture of South Africa’s new public watchdog. – Marika Sboros
By Ahmed Areff and Jenni Evans
Johannesburg (News24) – New National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams was formally introduced to staff and the media at the National Prosecuting Authority head offices in Pretoria on Tuesday.
He hopes to be the first NPA boss to make it to a full term, and has stressed that despite being appointed by President Jacob Zuma, he is not going to protect specific individuals.
Here are 10 facts about Abrahams that you might not have known:
1. His favourite movie is Gladiator
“It tells you a lot about my character,” he joked.
2. He prosecuted his first case in 1997, when he was 21
Abrahams, who is now 39, joked at his introduction that he has aged in the two weeks since Zuma appointed him.
3. He reads a lot, but hasn’t had a chance to read a novel since his appointment
“I love reading, but for the last two weeks since I started this job I haven’t gotten a chance. All I am reading at the moment is reports on various matters.”
4. He has three favourite cases
Abrahams singled out the case against the men who tried to assassinate exiled former Rwandan general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, the case against convicted Nigerian terrorist Henry Okah, and the case against the Phalaborwa terrorists who tried to bomb ANC leaders’ homes. “Those three stand out… I have even prosecuted [late AWB leader] Eugene Terre’blanche. There are many cases I have prosecuted and they all have different lessons.”
5. His mother’s nickname for him “Pikkewyntjie” (Penguin) came about because of the way he used to walk as a baby
“A mother’s love has no bounds – [she would even] divulge a nickname. I started walking, or shuffling when I was 8-months-old… that shows that I was strong. [However] I shuffled like penguin,” he explained.
6. He is one of five children, with three brothers, Neil, Kelvin and Vincent, and a sister, Lynn
7. His mother cooks one of his favourite meals, tripe curry, for him when he visits their home in Pietermaritzburg