Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba announced that she would be challenging the Mokgoro Report, which found that she was unfit to hold office.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has acted on the recommendation to fire National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi. In a statement, the Presidency said that “The Mokgoro Enquiry concludes its report with the observation, among others, that [National Prosecuting Authority] officials are required to be completely devoted to the rule of law without fail, as the country depends on it.”
Ramaphosa’s office further states that the dismissals are effective immediately and he will give Parliament the documents he based his decision on as per Section 12(6) of the NPA Act.
The driving element for Ramaphosa’s decision is the duo’s dishonesty, the Presidency said. The President’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, says the President will soon inform parliament about his decision.
“The President has now written informing Adv Jiba and Mrwebi of his decision. The NPA Act says that from now on the President must inform parliament of his removal of these two senior advocates of removing them from the NPA. Parliament would then take a decision whether they feel that his decision is to restore the advocates to the position …”
On Friday, 26 April 2019, Jiba released a statement in which she said that she had pleaded with the inquiry to make recommendations that would strengthen the independence of the NPA but it failed to do so.
“I stand by my evidence given to the inquiry and intend to ensure that my actions were all done to advance prosecutorial independence and not to undermine them,” she said.
Jiba also said that the inquiry, together with the president, were wrong to challenge her conduct in relation to the case of the former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and the spy tapes saga.
“I have raised these preliminary legal points to highlight my intention to clear my name and the legacy of my professional commitment as a prosecutor of over 27 years.
“The President conveyed to me that I am disqualified from serving my country in any position in the Public Service. I can assure the President that I will not be stripped, by executive stealth and fiat, of my rights routinely accorded to all citizens to serve this great country in the position of my calling,” she said.
Jiba said for now Ramaphosa’s decision to axe her must receive the attention of the Legislature and that she looks forward to engaging when the matter is debated.