Radebe defends NPA appointments

2011-01-16 22:36

Johannesburg - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe defended President Jacob Zuma's decision to appoint Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba as the deputy national director of public prosecutions (DNDPP), the SABC reported on Sunday.

Radebe said Zuma should be commended for appointing two women of the calibre of Jiba and Advocate Nomvula Mokhatla.

Mokhatla was also appointed DNDPP.

"There is no controversy about the appointment of two women, when everybody talks about women empowerment and advancement of women. But when the President appoints two competent, fit and properly qualified women, people cry.

"Jiba in particular has been a State prosecutor for decades on end, she has a Masters degree in Commercial Law, has been prosecuting cases for decades, so why is there an issue when the President appoints a woman?"

The Democratic Alliance on Friday expressed dismay at the appointment of Jiba.

Political plotting

"Advocate Jiba on all available versions of her history at the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) engaged in both political and personal plotting utterly unbecoming a prosecutor, in each case directed at senior prosecutor Advocate Gerrie Nel," DA justice spokesperson Dene Smuts said in a statement.

This came after the NPA announced Jiba and Mokhatla's appointments on Thursday. Jiba and Mokhatla's appointments were effective from December 22 2010 and they began duty this week.

The Mail & Guardian on Friday reported that Jiba previously faced charges of dishonesty, unprofessional conduct and bringing the NPA into disrepute.

The charges, abandoned in 2009, were reportedly linked to what appeared to be a "personal and political vendetta" against Nel, a former Gauteng Scorpions head.

According to a M&G newspaper report, evidence suggested Jiba played an active role in initiating the police investigation against Nel - her immediate superior.

Suspended

Nel was arrested at his home in the early hours of January 8 2008, in what appeared to be a bid to disrupt the investigation into former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Jiba was suspended by then acting NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe for her part in the alleged conspiracy against Nel.

After her suspension Jiba received "high level backing". She complained to then director general in the justice department and current NDPP Menzi Simelane, who wrote to Mpshe questioning the NDPP's right to suspend her.

Jiba later approached Radebe, who, according to the report, indicated in June 2009 he would raise the matter with NPA management.

Husband

The paper also reported that Jiba's gripe with Nel arose from her blaming him for the investigation and conviction of her husband.

Her husband, a lawyer, was convicted on charges relating to him dipping into the trust fund of his firm of attorneys.

This emerged from Labour Court papers - after a failed bid by Jiba to approach the court to halt disciplinary procedures against her.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nomgcobo jiba  |  jacob zuma  |  nomvula mokhatla  |  dene smuts  |  jeff radebe  |  judiciary  |  politics
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