Jiba appointment "astonishing", says DA

2011-01-14 13:44

The Democratic Alliance (DA) today expressed dismay at the appointment of Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba as deputy national director of public prosecutions (DNDPP).

“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.
The NPA yesterday announced the two new DNDPPs.

Jiba and Nomvula Mokhatla’s appointments were effective from December 22 2010 and they began duty this week.

The Mail & Guardian today 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 Advocate Gerrie Nel, a former Gauteng Scorpions head.

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

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 an alleged conspiracy to have Nel arrested before he could bring corruption charges against Selebi.

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 Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, who, according to the report, indicated in June 2009 he would raise the matter with NPA management.

The paper also reported that Jiba’s beef with Nel arose from her blaming him for the investigation and conviction of her husband, a lawyer, on charges related 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.

Smuts criticised President Jacob Zuma’s decision to appoint Jiba, saying he was failing in his “solemn duty” to make proper appointments.

“A politically partisan prosecuting authority run by plotters is incompatible with the independent and impartial administration of justice and with constitutional democracy.

“His [Zuma’s] own experience at the receiving end of the prosecuting authority’s endeavours should make him especially scrupulous in this regard, instead he appears to be acting with some cynicism.”

The DA was currently challenging Simelane’s appointment in court.

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