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Dr Silas Ramaite appointed as acting NPA head

The Citizen reports that Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Dr Silas Ramaite as the acting head of the NPA following the Constitutional Court’s finding that set aside Shaun Abarahams’ appointment.

According to EWN the DA isn’t happy with the appointment.

Glynnis Breytenbach, who worked with Ramaite before, told EWN, “He’s a career prosecutor who up through the ranks and he certainly knows the job. That being said, he sat by quietly and watched first Menzi Simelane, then Mokotedi Mpshe, Nomgcobo Jiba and then Shaun Abrahams obliterate the NPA and destroy the fabric of integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Power 98.7 has a rundown on Ramaite’s qualifications – including the fact that he wrote one of the chapters in a book on fighting corruption.

IOL reports that he did get into a bit of a brush with the law when he was charged with drunk driving after crashing his Jaguar into a bakkie in 2011, but those charges were later dropped.

My Take

I’m not seeing a lot of controversy here in his history. While I tend to be suspicious of people who drive fancy cars, this guy looks like a very competent pick for the top NPA job.

He’s been acting NPA head before, and his qualifications for the post leave me wondering why that appointment wasn’t made permanent.

That said, if it was my personal choice I think the NPA needs a bit of a breath of fresh air – and I would consider someone a bit left of field like the EFF’s Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

Why him? His work on state capture has been exemplary and his ties to an opposition party means he is less likely to look the other way on corruption within the ruling party. His criticism of the ANC on land reform also leads me to believe he wouldn’t cut them any slack.

There are jobs where the very last thing you want in the people doing them is loyalty – and head of the NPA is one of them. Ngcukaitobi has no loyalty to the ruling party, and that’s something I think we need here.

That said, Ramaite looks perfectly acceptable as a realistic candidate, which is another way of saying I don’t think he’ll rock the boat too much, even though this boat could do with some rocking to knock the pirates off.

Ramaite looks to me to be a bit like Ramaphosa. For all we put a lot of hopes for a government clean-up on Ramaphosa, it is kind of important to recognise he was Jacob Zuma’s deputy.

Ramaite certainly looks qualified, but the DA’s criticism of him serving under less than stellar bosses is something to consider.

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