Mxolisi Nxasana: 'Officials peddled lies to Zuma in bid to oust me'

19 August 2019 - 12:33 By AMIL UMRAW
Former national director of public prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that senior prosecutions officials tried hard to discredit him. File photo.
Former national director of public prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that senior prosecutions officials tried hard to discredit him. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times/Thapelo Morebudi

Former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Mxolisi Nxasana described a fractured relationship between himself and former president Jacob Zuma after an alleged campaign run by senior officials Nomcgobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi took effect.

When Nxasana first appeared before the commission in June, he alleged that Jiba and Mrwebi ran a campaign within the NPA to discredit him after he was appointed as national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) by Zuma in 2013.

When he returned to the commission on Monday, he said the pair had also peddled misinformation to Zuma.

"My belief is that Jiba and Mrwebi, in running their campaign to get me removed from the NPA, also peddled some misinformation to the president that I intended to reinstate charges against him. Every corner I went to I was confronted by the same question. People were saying the reason the president wanted me out was because he was told I intended to reinstate charges against him," Nxasana said.

"All of a sudden he [Zuma] had an attitude toward me. He didn’t want to see me at all. It was a very trying moment for me because soon after I got this rumour, I contacted Michael Hulley [Zuma's then-lawyer] and I remember I also had to chase him. At one point I even had to stop him [Hulley] on the N1, and relate to him that I had a problem.

"All the time, even when I met him in Durban, he would assure me the president was comfortable with my work. Hulley was the same person who then approached me when I was hosting an African delegation of prosecutors in Sandton. He was the one who came that night to break the news that 'the president has decided to institute a commission of inquiry into your fitness to hold office'."

Nxasana said he met Zuma in the latter part of 2014, after the commission of inquiry was instituted.

"After I had instituted an interdict [against the commission], we agreed to halt the interdict and we then started the negotiations. I explained myself to him, that I'm aware of this campaign. He said the information he had was that I was meeting Bulelani Ngcuka [a former NDPP] at a flat in Durban. To this date I’ve never even talked to Ngcuka," Nxasana said.  

"The whole scenario branded me as a person who was prepared to do anything. We had the meeting at King’s House in Durban. That information must have leaked. I got the impression people were putting pressure on him not to meet.

"My view was that there was no reason Jiba and I could not work together professionally. It became very clear to me Jiba was resentful. She was acting in that position for a long period and hopes had been created. I got information that when I was appointed, Jeff Radebe had promised her he was going to recommend her. I was told by Hulley himself." 

Nxasana's testimony is continuing.


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