'Hit squad' hits out at Jiba

2015-07-13 18:37
Nomgcobo Jiba. (File: Foto24)

Nomgcobo Jiba. (File: Foto24)

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Durban - Members of an alleged police hit squad have launched the latest salvo in their protracted legal battle, this time in the form of a high court application to have racketeering charges against them set aside, and hold embattled National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) deputy head, Nomgcobo Jiba, responsible for their legal costs.

Filed last week, the application lists Jiba as a respondent in her personal capacity.

Other respondents include the lead prosecutor in the criminal case against the officers and the NPA's new national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Advocate Shaun Abrahams.

Twenty-eight members of the unit were charged and the case against them has stretched over nearly four years since they were first arrested.

The squad face a litany of charges, including racketeering and murder, specifically of suspects during the course of their arrests.

They are alleged to have killed these suspects or rivals of taxi operators with whom they were doing business and planted weapons to create the impression that the killings were justified.

Their application mirrors that of KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen who was originally charged with the group, and who via a high court application had the racketeering charges against him set aside.

Judge Trevor Gorven, who set aside the charges, had scathing words for Jiba.

“Even accepting the least stringent test for rationality imaginable, the decision of the NDPP does not pass muster. I can conceive of no test for rationality, however relaxed, which could be satisfied by her explanation,” he ruled.

Jiba since charged with fraud, perjury

Jiba has since been charged with fraud and perjury relating to her handling of the Booysen matter.

The application this week is trying to have the decision by Jiba to charge the squad with racketeering declared invalid and set aside, on the basis that the decision to charge them was irrational and illegal.

They held that the material used by Jiba to formulate her decision to charge them with racketeering would be the same as that used to unsuccessfully charge Booysen.

In their application they assert there is no evidence to prove they were part of a criminal enterprise and further, that there is no way that Jiba could have “applied her mind” to the 23 dockets that form part of the case in one day, a task that took a defence team more than six weeks.

“We submit that the conduct of the first respondent [Jiba] is so egregious that it ought to be held that she overstepped the duties of the office she held when the impugned decisions were made to such an extent that she cannot hide behind the office she held at the time,” it reads. 

Read more on:    npa  |  hawks  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  crime  |  saps

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