Curious past of the SIU head

2011-12-17 20:13

The new acting head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, has herself made headlines in the past for the wrong reasons.

Jiba, a former senior deputy director of the Scorpions, was suspended from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2007 for allegedly assisting the police in its campaign to save former police chief Jackie Selebi from prosecution.

Jiba, in turn, accused the NPA of conspiring against her.After protracted legal proceedings, the matter was settled after Jiba sought the interference of Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, who appointed her acting SIU boss this week.

Jiba was accused at the time of assisting the police in acquiring an arrest warrant against Scorpions prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who led the state’s case against Selebi.

Nel was previously involved in the investigation and ultimate conviction of Jiba’s husband, former Scorpions advocate Booker Nhantsi.

Nhantsi was sentenced to three years in prison in 2005 after stealing R174?000 from his law firm’s trust account.

A senior NPA source previously told City Press Jiba’s “hostility” towards Nel began after she believed he could have done more to protect Nhantsi.

As part of her Labour Court case, where she tried to halt the disciplinary procedures against her, Jiba submitted an affidavit by then Gauteng deputy police boss Richard Mdluli, who led a police investigation into Nel.

Mdluli’s affidavit referred to intercepted telephone conversations of senior NPA staff, including Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy.

Fraud charges against Mdluli – now head of crime intelligence – were withdrawn in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court this week after an instruction from Serious Commercial Crimes Unit boss Lawrence Mrwebi.

Mrwebi and Jiba were believed to be close.

The NPA’s Mthunzi Mhaga said Jiba, appointed deputy NPA head by Zuma in January, had nothing to do with the dropping of charges against Mdluli.

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