Now NPA goes for Nxasana
In a dramatic week, the NPA has laid charges against perceived foes of its powerful deputy, Nomgcobo Jiba, and has also set its sights on former head Mxolisi Nxasana
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is setting its sights on its former head Mxolisi Nxasana. According to a recording of a recent NPA meeting obtained obtained by City Press, Nxasana may soon be formally accused of having sexually harassed an NPA employee during his tenure as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). The employee is suing the NPA for R7.5 million after laying charges of shock, pain and suffering, and contumelia (disrespect that causes offence). She has served the authority with a summons that is unrelated to the sexual harassment allegations.
According to the recording, the employee – whose name is known to City Press – complained to NPA deputy head Nomgcobo Jiba and her colleagues about Nxasana’s actions.
In the recording, one official says: “She [the NPA employee] complained to us that the NDPP [referring to Nxasana] sexually harassed her. She said every time she came into the office of Nxasana to bring documents, he always told her that she has lovely legs and would touch them.”
The recording, which has been verified by three NPA officials, is said to have been made by prosecutors who attended a recent meeting in which the allegations against Nxasana were discussed.
City Press understands that the police have also obtained a statement, but it is unclear if a criminal case has been lodged.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said: “The National Director of Public Prosecutions [Shaun Abrahams] is not aware of such a matter. No one within the law enforcement community has brought such a matter to his attention. We therefore dismiss those allegations as utter nonsense.”
However, Nxasana this week confirmed he was aware of the existence of the recording and the allegations made against him.
He denied having harassed the woman, saying the allegations were manufactured by those who were worried about his court challenge, which could see him returning to his old post.
“When I first heard about the allegations, I laughed. I said to myself that they are very desperate to find something that they could use to criminally charge me or tarnish my name. Why didn’t she report it to our HR department or the police when it happened?” he asked.
Nxasana blamed the allegations on his former deputy Jiba, who he accused of being out to get him at all costs.
Nxasana resigned from the embattled NPA last year under acrimonious circumstances, having reached a settlement with President Jacob Zuma after it emerged that Nxasana had allegedly failed to disclose a previous brush with the law. He was paid more than R17 million to vacate his position. In her civil claim, the employee states in the summons that on October 4 2013 Nxasana removed her from her senior management position.
“After the unlawful removal of the plaintiff from her position, the defendant did not provide the plaintiff with alternative employment, nor responsibilities. The plaintiff was left loitering in the office,” reads the summons.
It goes on to state that Nxasana “or his agents” harassed her by not signing performance agreements, laid “malicious criminal charges” against her and caused the Hawks to search her house on two occasions.
The employee alleges that, as a result of Nxasana’s actions, she developed major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, “symptomology”, anxiety disorder, heart disease, uncontrollable emotions and seizures.
The NPA employee states in her papers that she had to undergo surgery and counselling, and is currently on chronic medication.
The NPA has been given until next Saturday to indicate if it will oppose the claim.
Mfaku said the prosecuting authority had requested further information to help them plead the civil suit.
Nxasana denied having harassed the employee, saying he realised she had been placed in his office to spy on him.
“I then requested to have my own personal assistant, which was approved,” he said.
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