OVERVIEW: #NPAInquiry hears testimony from acting NDPP Ramaite, former SCCU head Jordaan on first day

2019-01-21 15:30

Day one of the Mokgoro Inquiry into the fitness of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office saw testimony from acting NPA head Dr Silas Ramaite and former SCCU head Chris Jordaan.

WATCH LIVE | Mokgoro Commission of Inquiry

(Courtesy of SABC) 

Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba's legal team at the Mokgoro
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Last Updated at 14:04
21 Jan 15:32

Jordaan finishes, and is thanked for his time and excused by Mokgoro.

Bawa indicates that Ramaite and Jordaan were the only witnesses for the day. Bawa and Mokgoro discuss some procedural issues, and Mokgoro calls for the adjournment. 

Proceedings adjourn for the day, until 10:00 on Tuesday morning.


21 Jan 15:28

Jordaan responds to further questions from Mokgoro, for clarification. 


21 Jan 15:26

Sikhakhane wraps up her questioning, and the legal representatives of Jiba and Mrwebi indicate that they have no questions for Jordaan.


21 Jan 15:22

Jordaan: "Normally, we reported through a deputy national director of public prosecutions, in my time, Dr Silas Ramaite SC." 


21 Jan 15:19

21 Jan 15:13

Jordaan says he retired as the head of the SCCU in 2011, and there were cases in various regions around the country that had not been concluded at the time of his retirement.



21 Jan 15:12

Jordaan still explaining how the SCCU operates, most likely as a point of reference to establish if the correct processes and procedures were adhered to at all times within the department.


21 Jan 14:56

21 Jan 14:54

Jordaan outlines the structure of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU).


21 Jan 14:54

Jordaan briefly goes over his professional resumè.


21 Jan 14:53

21 Jan 14:52

21 Jan 14:49

Jordaan reads from the first two paragraphs of his affidavit, to make it clear why he's at the inquiry today.


21 Jan 14:44

Proceedings resume after the lunch adjournment. 

Former head of the South African Commercial Crimes Unit, Chris Jordaan SC, is the next witness. 


21 Jan 13:39

Bawa wraps up. Mokgoro thanks Ramaite for his time, and excuses him from the inquiry. 

Mokgoro callls for the lunch adjournment, and it is agreed that proceedings will resume in an hour. 


21 Jan 13:36

21 Jan 13:30

Advocate Rip wraps up his questioning once again, and Advocate Bawa now has a few points she would like to clarify.


21 Jan 13:28

21 Jan 13:23

The hearing resumes once again after the impromptu break.

Advocate Rip now taking Ramaite through the aforementioned document.


21 Jan 12:55

Advocate Rip wraps up his questioning of Ramaite and there is a brief discussion about whether or not to take the lunch adjournment. 

There is however a call for a document to be printed, so that Ramaite can have a look at it and confirm "the existence of the document" to Rip. 

A brief "two-minute" adjournment is called so that the document can be printed. 


21 Jan 12:49

21 Jan 12:44

21 Jan 12:41

21 Jan 12:40

Next up is Advocate Mervyn Rip, representing Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi.


21 Jan 12:39

Proceedings finally resume after the break, which ran slightly longer than expected.

Jiba's attorney now addresses Ramaite and starts off by thanking him for painting a picture of how things work within the NPA.

Jiba's attorney only has one question for Ramaite, about "public interest" vs "public perception". 

Ramaite: "Crisply put, public perception has no role to play in prosecutorial decision-making. Not at all." 

Jiba's attorney: "That's all I have to ask you." 


21 Jan 12:07

Bawa wraps up her questioning of Ramaite.

Advocate Jiba's legal representative, Thabani Masuku, is expected to cross-examine Ramaite, after a short adjournment.

The inquiry adjourns for 15 minutes. 


21 Jan 12:03

Bawa on a question of national prosecutions: "Could you move those prosecutors around without the consent of the DPP?"

Ramaite: "Well, it requires the consent of the DPP." 

Bawa: "Could you move prosecutors into a DPP's jurisdiction without the consent of the DPP?" 

Ramaite: "It requires the consent of the DPP." 

Bawa then asks Ramaite about a particular media service that the NDPP's office has available, which keeps them abreast of what's going on. Bawa asks Ramaite what it's called, but it escapes Ramaite's recollection. 


21 Jan 11:54

Proceedings resume after a break in transmission. 

Bawa still questioning Ramaite in detail about the inner workings of the NPA, now on the topic of the code of conduct.


21 Jan 11:41

The inquiry takes a short, five-minute break, for what Mokgoro referred to as "recording purposes".


21 Jan 11:30

Bawa: "The bottom line of this debate, is that under Section 23(1) of the Act, a deputy exercises or performs powers, duties or functions, that they are authorised to do by the national director..." 

Ramaite: "That is correct." 


21 Jan 11:19

21 Jan 11:11

Bawa continues questioning Ramaite in detail about the functions of prosecutors. 

Bawa: "What is a state advocate, and what is a senior state advocate?" 


21 Jan 10:53

21 Jan 10:53

Bawa asks Ramaite about the independence of prosecutors. 

Bawa: "In which circumstances, should a director of public prosecutions interfere with a (High Court) prosecutor's decision to institute a prosecution?" 

Ramaite: "Only when prosecution policy is not being followed."



21 Jan 10:49

Ramaite is still detailing the processes behind prosecutions, within the department.


21 Jan 10:48

21 Jan 10:37

Bawa confirms with Ramaite that he has been acting as National Director of Public Prosecutions from 14 August 2018, to date.


21 Jan 10:34

Bawa asks Ramaite to share his experiences within the NPA, and also a little bit about his background.


21 Jan 10:30

Dr Silas Ramaite is now sworn in.


21 Jan 10:25

Evidence leader Advocate Nazreen Bawa clarifies that this is not a commission, but it is an inquiry established in terms of the NPA Act, and the inquiry does not seek to determine criminal or civil culpability.


21 Jan 10:20

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, chaired by Raymond Zondo, is mentioned, and the Mokgoro commission is informed of evidence being led at that inquiry in which both Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi are implicated, accused of having accepted bribes. It is stated that the Agrizzi affidavit will be obtained, to consider its contents. 

Jiba's legal representative: "When the time is right, and when Advocate Jiba has received the evidence, she's in the same position as Advocate Bawa... she has not received the affidavit making these allegations, she has met with the investigators of the Zondo commission, but she has not received anything. 

"She has not received a notice, so she is not in a position to give any direct response to the allegations themselves, except to say, she has not received any money, from anybody. She has performed her work with diligence, and with professionalism, and she will give her evidence at the right time. 

"So we thought we should make that [clear], because the timing of these allegations, and the commentary around it, is highly prejudicial to how an atmosphere of fairness can be held under this cloud of extensive negative media reporting on Advocate Jiba. That's what we thought we would place before the commission."


21 Jan 10:15

21 Jan 10:12

Proceedings are now in session, starting off with introductions.


21 Jan 10:11

21 Jan 10:11

21 Jan 10:04

21 Jan 09:58

Inquiry into Jiba and Mrwebi's fitness to hold office set to start in Centurion

The Justice Mokgoro Inquiry into the fitness of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office is expected to have its first hearing on Monday in Centurion.

The first witness to take the stand is current Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Silas Ramaite, followed by Advocate Chris Jordaan SC, the inquiry's spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu said in a statement on Sunday.

The hearings, led by former justice of the Constitutional Court Yvonne Mokgoro, will start daily at 10:00 and are expected to end at 16:00.

President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended both Jiba and Mrwebi in October 2018 pending the outcome of the inquiry. 


21 Jan 09:58

OPINION: 

Is this why Bosasa was never prosecuted? 

(By Adriaan Basson)

Is anyone surprised that former president Jacob Zuma is expected to be implicated by Angelo Agrizzi in Bosasa's nest of corruption?

I am certainly not. Zuma has showed himself over decades to be a politician for sale.

First the Shaiks, then the Guptas and now the Watsons, allegedly. Zuma does not discriminate against any benefactors who are willing to buy his political influence at the right price. 

The biggest shock for me of the files Agrizzi is reportedly going to drop at the Zondo Commission into state capture over the next few days is the allegation that senior prosecutors were paid to let Bosasa off the hook.

As News24 reported on Sunday Agrizzi is expected to testify this week that senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, together with National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) senior staffer Jackie Lepinka were bribed by Bosasa to make the corruption case against them disappear. 


21 Jan 09:58

ICYMI: 

EXCLUSIVE: Agrizzi to implicate Zuma, Jiba in Bosasa scandal 

Former president Jacob Zuma's foundation was paid R300 000 a month by Bosasa for years, allegedly in exchange for his influence to ensure that political leaders would open doors to new government contracts.

As the relationship with Zuma grew, Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson turned to Zuma to kill an ongoing corruption probe by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials and the Hawks.

News24 has reliably learned that former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi will reveal this and more during his hair-raising testimony before the Zondo Commission of inquiry into state capture this coming week. Agrizzi will implicate Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and top prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi as being entangled in Bosasa's web of corruption. 


21 Jan 09:58

ICYMI: 

Ramaphosa to receive Jiba, Mrwebi inquiry report by March 9 

A report on whether former deputy prosecutions boss, Nomgcobo Jiba, and her colleague, Lawrence Mrwebi, are fit to hold office will be provided to President Cyril Ramaphosa by no later than March 9, 2019.

This is according to a notice published in the Government Gazette.

Jiba and Mrwebi were suspended in October after Ramaphosa announced his decision to institute inquiries into their fitness to hold office.

Jiba is the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions and Mrwebi is the Special Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquiry will provide Ramaphosa with the report, together with all supporting documentation. 

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