President Jacob Zuma’s R17.3-million golden handshake to former National Prosecuting Authority boss Mxolisi Nxasana has come back to haunt him.
A senior advocate and director at Accountability Now, Robert Hoffman, has laid charges against Zuma on the grounds that the settlement agreement, which saw Nxasana being paid out to leave despite 98 months left on his contract, was concluded with a corrupt intention.
In a statement he made at the Ocean View police station in Cape Town yesterday, Hoffman says the lump sum paid to Nxasana for a full 10-year term was also in contravention of Section 9 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004.
Hoffman said the fact that Zuma had, in the settlement agreement, stated that Nxasana was fit and proper to hold office raised questions about why he would resign.
“There was no lawful basis upon which the national director of public prosecutions might have been required to vacate his office and resign,” he said.
“The only inference to be drawn is that the president and the minister [of justice and correctional services, Michael Masutha] wished to secure Nxasana’s resignation for reasons that he had issued instructions regarding investigations and prosecutions, or anticipated doing so, which would cause discomfort and embarrassment to the president.”
Hoffman wanted not only for Zuma to be charged, but also for the money given to Nxasana to be recovered by the Asset Forfeiture Unit because it amounted to “proceeds of crime”.
“I request that the matter be investigated without delay,” the signed affidavit reads.
A letter was sent to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe last month, requesting him to convene a meeting of the national executive committee and recall Zuma over his involvement in “criminal activity”.
However, Hoffman said Mantashe ignored the June 23 letter, which City Press has seen.
Hoffman gave Mantashe until July 10 to do this, failing which he would lay charges. He said that, should the NPA fail to prosecute, he would pursue private prosecution against Zuma.
Hoffman’s organisation had objected to Zuma serving a second term, citing he was too compromised to fulfil the role as head of state.