Ten months into the state capture inquiry, and the scale of the task facing the investigative team is extraordinary.: We’ve heard from all corners of government and the darkest reaches of business. Jacob Zuma’s name has cropped up more than once, and the appearance of Mxolisi Nxasana on Wednesday could be more bad news for Msholozi.
The former director of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) left his role in controversial circumstances back in 2015, following a two-year stint in charge. His replacement, Shaun Abrahams, didn’t fare much better shortly afterwards – his entire term was characterised by leniency towards Zuma, despite a raft of legal accusations.
Who is Mxolisi Nxasana?
However, Nxasana has admitted to feeling “betrayed” by JZ as recently as last year. Secrets he has been holding on to for the past few years may be exposed throughout the course of his appearance in Johannesburg.
Nxasana was given the role in 2013, but by the following year, an investigation into his fitness to hold office had already been instigated. He had failed to declare that he was on trial for murder in 1985 – which, let’s be honest, is the sort of thing you don’t try and hide if you’re the NDPP.
He was eventually acquitted on the grounds of self-defence, but after this revelation, the two previously-declared convictions he had for assault came under more intense scrutiny.
The golden handshake with Jacob Zuma
Before the inquiry could reach its conclusion, Jacob Zuma and Mxolisi Nxasana came to an agreement: The director was given a R17 million “golden handshake” to vacate his position, allowing Shaun Abrahams to replace him. However, this decision was declared “constitutionally invalid” in 2018, costing Abrahams his job in the process.
The unscrupulous, “cloak and dagger” deal between the former president and the short-lived NDPP is set to come under the spotlight on Wednesday. Nxasana was ordered to repay R10 million of the settlement last August – just before the Zondo Commission got to work – but he claims the money has already been spent.
It could be a rough ride for uBaba while Nxasana is in the hot-seat. Not only have officials from Bosasa implicated Zuma in state capture, but ex-ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram told the inquiry last week that the 77-year-old influenced major decisions at the news network. Nxasana is likely to provide some similarly salacious details.