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Parliament To Decide On Jiba, Mrwebi Axing From NPA

jiba - Parliament To Decide On Jiba, Mrwebi Axing From NPA

JOHANNESBURG – It now falls to Parliament to weigh in on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to fire top National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi.

The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled they can continue to practise as advocates, but didn’t make a ruling on whether they were fit for office. Justice Chris Jafta said the case did not have any constitutional bearing.

The High Court in Pretoria had previously ruled in favour of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB), but Jiba and Mrwebi appealed at the Supreme Court of Appeal and were reinstated as advocates.

Jiba was the deputy national director public prosecutions when the president fired the pair in April pending endorsement by Parliament after the Mokgoro Inquiry found them neither fit nor proper to hold their respective offices.

Now she wants the national legislature to make that pronouncement.

“It’s a fact that the parliamentary process has not happened, but realistically we can accept that she is going to be fired. But when that happens, we hold instructions to then take the Mokgoro Report on review. We couldn’t have done that before the ConCourt had pronounced,” said Jiba’s lawyer advocate Zola Majavu.

Majavu said Jiba believes she was unfairly treated because she is not the only deputy director whose conduct was questioned.

“The fourth estate and our professional body have had nothing to say about the conduct of Mr Willie Hofmeyr. My client feels that some cows are holier than others,” he said.

Majavu said Jiba would go back to court to clear her name if she must.

Meanwhile, the Presidency said while it has noted and respects the Constitutional Court’s ruling, it doesn’t affect the decision to fire them from the NPA.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said the decision Ramaphosa took to dismiss the officials was separate from the GCB matter.

“The Constitutional Court decision has no bearing or changes the decision the president has taken in relation to the two advocates. The president has further submitted records of his decision to parliament and it’s up to parliament to consider those and whether or not they ought to be restored to office,” she said.


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