'I went through the worst in this organisation' – Mrwebi

2019-02-22 19:28
Suspended special director of public prosecutions advocate Lawrence Mrwebi testifies during the Mokgoro inquiry. (Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images, file)

Suspended special director of public prosecutions advocate Lawrence Mrwebi testifies during the Mokgoro inquiry. (Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images, file)

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Suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi has told the Mokgoro inquiry that he has been through the worst in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The inquiry has been tasked with establishing whether Mrwebi and suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba are fit for office.

Asked by his advocate Mervyn Rip, SC, about what his final word was on the suggestion that he is not fit and proper to occupy the position.

ALSO READ: OVERVIEW: I went through the worst says Mrwebi at #Mokgoroinquiry

"I find that to be a bit insulting," he told inquiry chairperson retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro on Friday.

"I would say whatever the views of other people, my idea is to safeguard the integrity of the organisation. I went through the worst in this organisation.

"The question is 'why did you not leave?' I still believe that I still owe this country a sense of gratitude," Mrwebi said.

Under cross-examination, Mrwebi faced tough questions from evidence leader advocate Nazreen Bawa, SC, on some of the decisions he had taken.

At some point Mrwebi said he was concerned about Bawa's "attitude".

READ: 'I feel like an accused person' - Mrwebi cries foul about Mokgoro inquiry

"You see advocate Bawa, I'm not refusing to answer your questions," he said.

"You are making me feel like an accused person. I don't know if you are a prosecutor now or if your intention is to discredit me, but I am very concerned about your attitude," he said.

During cross-examination, Bawa read out Mrwebi's affidavit about how he received representations on former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli's case and the difficulties he had with the matter.

Mdluli was facing charges of fraud, theft and corruption for allegedly pillaging the Crime Intelligence slush fund. But the charges were withdrawn in 2011.

Bawa also took Mrwebi through evidence by North Gauteng director of public prosecutions Sibongile Mzinyathi who said Mrwebi informed her office that the decision to withdraw the charges could not be reversed and that he had already informed Mdluli's attorneys of the decision.

But Mrwebi said: "All things I was doing [were] to ensure we were on the cleaner side. I wanted us to avoid a situation where were would be accused of breaching state privilege."

He also told the inquiry that he had the responsibility to protect the integrity of the NPA.

Mrwebi said Mdluli's "fingerprints" were nowhere to be found on the matter.

He told judge Mokgoro that if the case was investigated further, then maybe something would come up.

Bawa also quizzed him about the loan agreement Mdluli obtained from Atlantis Nissan motors, a supplier of service cars. 

"That is a problem because we are not sure that it is his signature. That's a big problem in the case. The investigations show it is not his signature," he replied.

"Your assertion is that there is nothing wrong with the loan agreement between Mdluli and Atlantis Nissan Motors, correct?" Bawa asked.

"Just the existence of the loan agreement is not a crime. The mere fact that there is a loan agreement does not prove an offence because an offence relates to unauthorised gratification," Mrwebi said.

Mdluli had bought two BMWs with a loan secured from Atlantis Nissan. The company also supplied vehicles to the Crime Intelligence unit.

Mrwebi also told the inquiry that his intention had always been that the NPA's evidence must be beyond reproach.

"We must ensure that everything is done properly," he said.  

The inquiry continues on Monday when Jiba is expected to be cross-examined.  

Read more on:    npa  |  lawrence mrwebi
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