Jiba first seen as breath of fresh air, until the Booysen matter – Hofmeyr

2019-01-31 15:53
Willie Hofmeyr (Picture: Beeld)

Willie Hofmeyr (Picture: Beeld)

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When now-suspended advocate Nomgcobo Jiba was appointed acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in December 2011 it was a "breath of fresh air", according to Willie Hofmeyr. 

The deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions was testifying at the Mokgoro inquiry on Thursday, which is looking into the fitness of Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office. 

Hofmeyr stated that many within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were unhappy with the Menzi Simelane era and that Jiba was a "capable manager" who made the team feel as if they were adding value to the institution.

However, over time concerns grew, particularly about the wrongful prosecution of Johan Booysen.

"A very concerning development trend that emerged under Jiba, and was almost insitutionalised by [Shaun] Abrahams, was to prosecute those who were perceived as obstacles to corruption and the capture of the state," Hofmeyr said in an affidavit.

Concerns over Booysen case

This trend, according to the deputy NDPP, included persons in law enforcement, particularly in the case of Booysen.

Booysen was the former head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal who launched corruption cases against two senior ANC officials in the province - Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakhulu.

"I submit that the charges laid against Booysen was an attempt to remove him from office, or at least ensure that more pliable acting head would be appointed in his place who would close down the investigations," Hofmeyr said.

"I think it relates to her, because it became clear that there were controversial decisions taken at the time. She was starting to play political games," he added.

READ: Jiba pressured to prosecute Booysen, despite having ‘no evidence’, Mokgoro inquiry hears

Another concern was Jiba’s alleged refusal to cooperate with Mxolisi Nxasana as the NDPP and provide him with reports on various cases that caused public controversy.

"She refused to accede to his request, and simply refused to do so. This may amount to insubordination," he said.

Hofmeyr further believes that Jiba’s refusal to cooperate with the retired Constitutional Court Justice Zak Yacoob's inquiry may also amount to insubordination.

In 2014, City Press reported that Yacoob had recommended a full judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the rot at the top levels of the NPA.

ALSO READ: Yacoob calls for judicial commission into NPA

Concerns continued to grow when Jiba refused to take a firm position on Mrwebi and failing to consult prior to dropping the Richard Mdluli case in 2011.

Mdluli was facing charges of fraud, theft and corruption for allegedly pillaging the Crime Intelligence slush fund, News 24 earlier reported.

"He was allowed to continue stating this interference with his powers, as well as the later Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU) strategy meeting," he explained.

The inquiry, which is now in its ninth day, is continuing. 

Read more on:    npa  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  zak yacoob

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