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Jiba and Mrwebi unfit for office, says Mokgoro

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Justice Yvonne Mokgoro’s report found Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi unfit for office and recommended they be fired.

The Mokgoro Inquiry released a report this week that found National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi unfit to hold their respective offices and recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa fire them.

“In view of the totality of evidence, and in light of the evaluation … we find that both Jiba and Mrwebi are not fit and proper to hold their respective offices,” the report read.

The three-member team, headed by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, was appointed to investigate matters such as Jiba’s role in the spy tapes fiasco and the firing of former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen. Both Jiba and Mrwebi’s roles in the withdrawal of charges against controversial former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli were investigated.

The report concluded that the duo had not taken responsibility for the many problems that arose at the NPA, despite both having been involved in litigation on multiple occasions in both their personal and official capacities.

Multiple court rulings showed Jiba undermined the courts and thus violated the constitution.

“We find that as a senior member of the NPA, Jiba has displayed irreverence to the courts and indifference to their processes, resulting in adverse comments being made about her.

“We find that Jiba’s conduct had the effect of seriously damaging public confidence in the NPA,” the report said.

The report turned to her role as then acting national director of public prosecutions (ANDPP) in the withdrawal of charges against Mdluli and found that she had failed to properly exercise her discretion.

“The series of Jiba’s decisions taken in her capacity as ANDPP, which were all set aside on review, the comments and criticisms levelled against her by the courts have brought the NPA into disrepute,” the report found.

Meanwhile, Mokgoro found that Mrwebi’s decision to withdraw fraud charges against Mdluli was against the NPA Act, thus he acted without integrity. The report also found that Mrwebi showed a lack of understanding for the law and legal processes.

“The courts have levelled criticisms and concerns in the manner in which Mrwebi has discharged the duties of his office and conducted himself towards the courts. Mrwebi’s conduct was openly at variance with what is expected of a person in his position.

“Mrwebi’s lack of appreciation regarding his behaviour in keeping secret the representations from criminal suspects implicated in the investigation carried out by the NPA into alleged improprieties perpetrated by officials of Crime Intelligence and his admission that he took those representations into account without verifying the truthfulness of their contents, confirms that his decision to withdraw the prosecution of Mdluli was irrational and unlawful,” Mokgoro said.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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