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By Alec Hogg
This is another watershed day for a young democracy facing far too many of them of late. At 10am South African time, the Constitutional Court releases its most important judgement in almost two and a half years, one that ranks alongside the ConCourt’s 31 March 2016 support for the former Public Protector’s scathing findings on Nkandla.
With hindsight, that well publicised ruling started turning the tide against industrial scale corruption being perpetrated by associates of then president Jacob Zuma. Today’s ConCourt decision is equally significant: a ruling whether it is legal to immediately terminate the services of the national director of the National Prosecuting Authority.
In December, the High Court ruled that incumbent Shaun Abrahams was unfit for the office. But in February Abrahams appealed to the Constitutional Court. He was originally appointed in 2015 for a ten year term. Critics say Abrahams, who was leapfrogged four layers, was appointed to shield Zuma and his cronies from prosecution.
Legal sources tell us that bringing those who benefitted from a Zuma facilitated network of corruption to justice can only begin once the state’s prosecutors have a competent, conflict-free leader. We agree. And trust Abrahams doesn’t survive on a technicality. Eight more years of his well-documented misrule would feel like an eternity.