Cato cops eye new strategy

2014-11-20 00:00

MEMBERS of the so called “Cato Manor death squad” may seek a review of the charges they face — if erstwhile prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba is ousted.

The controversial former acting prosecutions head finds herself in the crosshairs with a renewed drive to have her removed or suspended from the roll of advocates.

According to reports, the General Council of the Bar is to apply to the court for the striking off or suspension as advocates of Jiba and two others, on the request of NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana.

When contacted by The Witness, Jiba said she had no knowledge of the application to have her removed from the roll. “I don’t know anything about this thing and I am just so busy. I think you should contact Mr Nxasana because I think he is the one who will know,” she said.

Jiba signed the racketeering certificate of suspended KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen, who has since had the charges set aside by the high court.

If Jiba is toppled, the 26 policemen indicted on a raft of charges would have grounds to apply for a review of their case.

Attorney Carl van der Merwe, acting for members of the unit, said Jiba’s removal would provide a substantive basis for a review application.

“I am not sure where they [the General Council of the Bar] are with their application and if they have even filed papers yet but if she is removed or suspended I would make an application for a review of the charges my clients face,” he said.

“She was the one who signed the racketeering certificate [for Booysen] so if she is found to be unfit to hold office then we would have solid grounds for a review,” Van der Merwe added.

Business Day reported that Jiba, Lawrence Mrwebi and North Gauteng director of public prosecutions Sibongile Mzinyathi were the subject of scathing criticism in four court judgments.

Because of this, General Council of the Bar chairperson Jeremy Muller SC said the “trenchant” criticism in the judgments “obliged” it to accede to Nxasana’s request, the newspaper wrote.

In February this year, Booysen’s application to have racketeering charges set aside was successful.

Judge Trevor Gorven condemned Jiba’s decision to prosecute the top cop.

“The impugned decisions were arbitrary, offend the principal of legality and, therefore, the rule of law, and were unconstitutional,” Gorven said in his written judgment.

Jiba and her colleagues also came under fire in judgments on the decision to withdraw charges against Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, as well as her handling of the spy tapes case between the Democratic Alliance and President Jacob Zuma.

Booysen was charged, along with members of the now disbanded unit, who are alleged to have murdered 29 suspects, planting firearms to make the killings look legal.


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