What led to the dropping of the Nxasana inquiry?
News breaking this morning is that the inquiry into whether National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head, Mxolisi Nxasana is fit for office has been cancelled. The chair of the inquiry, Advocate Nazeer Cassim opened the inquiry this morning and then made this brief statement: "I have been instructed late last night by the Office of the President was to 'cease the inquiry' and I am not in a position to explain why. I am no longer in a position to proceed with this inquiry and I have now closed the inquiry."
Following the earlier statement, Advocate Cassim now notes:
It's the prerogative of the President to establish the inquiry and it's also the President's prerogative to close the inquiry. This isn't a disciplinary investigation of a private company. Having being in practice for 50 years, these things happen at the last minute. It would appear to me that the incumbent himself is someone who exercises an independent mind, for instance, when the Mdluli matter was heard by a judge, he followed the judge's ruling. His conduct shows that he appears to be a man who is independent. Another question is, why didn't the President do his homework, before appointing him? One would have to look into the person's background before making an appointment.
EWN's Barry Bateman was Advocate Cassim's earlier briefing:
Nobody saw it coming at all (the cancellation of the inquiry). The various consels had just had meetings with Advocate Cassim and then the advocate then said he was instructed to cease the inquiry and that essentially ceased his mandate. There's almost been a vaccuum of information from the Presidency, but what the we know is there have been meetings between Nxasana and the Presidency, which are said to be in the 'best interest of the NPA'.
Constitutional Law expert, Professor Shadrack Gutto:
It seems that the matter has reached a point where it will be that the National Director of Prosecutions moves out without the inquiry, because I believe that the inquiry would do a lot of damage in exposing the truth about some people in very influential positions.
Gordhan sees 'red' over Sar's rogue unit
Several reports over the weekend and again this morning have noted a public statement issued by Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan about the claims of a rogue spy unit at Sars (the South African Revenue Service). In the statement, Gordhan denies being involved in anything illegal and that the unit he helped to set up was entirely legal. Last week, Deputy Sars Commissioner Ivan Pillay and Planning Head, Peter Richer both resigned, as they were to face disciplinary hearings into this unit. Business Day Journalist, Carol Paton:
I think it's a bit of an understatement to say he is angry, I think he is deeply aggrieved. The way the thing has unfolded, he hasn't been able to have an opportunity to engage it. It's not going to be a very satisfactory ending for Mr Gordhan who feels that his integrity is in play. The horrible thing about this saga is that the illegality of this unit hasn't been established conclusively.
Maimane-Trollip at the helm of the DA
Fanfare in Port Elizabeth at the official opposition's congress following the announcement that Mmusi Maimane is the new leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and that Athol Treollip has been elected Chair of the DA. Trollip reflects on his proirity in this position:
I am going to ensure that Mmusi Maimane and I continue on the strong traditions set by former leaders Tony Leon and Helen Zille, which is going to be a very difficult act to follow, but we need to push for non-racialism in this country. If you come from a political environment where race defines everything you do, then you would see Mmusi through the lens of being a black leader and we don't see him that way. I also find it deeply offensive that because we have a black leader, you've got a white person pulling their strings. I find that deeply offensive and I believe that the ANC knows what Mmusi is capable of doing as much as we know what he is capable of doing.
Sectoral uproar over Nkwinti's land cap plans
Reports this moring that land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti is going to stick to his plans to put a cap on the amount of land each farmer can own in South Africa. President of the Agri-sector Unity Forum, Japie Grobler:
It is going to be negative on the whole of the agricultural sector. This will also impact food security, foreign investment. The thing is that the Minister makes these announcements without liaising with people in the sector, because we would have told him we cannot work with land ceilings in South Africa. You cannot dictate what size will fit a farmer that farms peanuts, various food stuffs and another issue is you cannot touch private land.
Court calls for Special Cosatu Congress
In the High Court in Joburg this morning, an order has been given that Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini must convene a special national congress in july after seven affiliaties including Numsa went to court this morning calling for it. EWN's Govan Whittles:
Essentially, the court has ordered what Numsa and the other unions were calling for, for a Special Federal Congress. The court says this event has to happen on the 12th and 13 of July and that Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini has to give notice on it at the end of the month. These unions see it as a victory for them and Numsa, as this could be an opportunity to vote Sdumo Dlamini out and vote Zwelinzima Vavi back into Cosatu.