Mokgoro inquiry insists it has not missed submission deadline, will present report to Ramaphosa 'soon'

2019-03-09 15:46
Former justice of the Constitutional Court Yvonne Mokgoro. (Tebogo Letsie/Gallo Images)

Former justice of the Constitutional Court Yvonne Mokgoro. (Tebogo Letsie/Gallo Images)

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The inquiry held into senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi's fitness to hold office insists that it has not missed its deadline to submit a report to President Cyril Ramaphosa, despite the March 9 deadline submission date stated in the Government Gazette.

Speaking to News24 on Saturday, the inquiry's spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu said although she could not give a specific date, retired Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro would present her report to the president some time during the next week.

The inquiry was expected to present its report on Saturday. This was according to a notice published in the Government Gazette on November 29.

READ: Ramaphosa to receive Jiba, Mrwebi inquiry report by March 9

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.

Mokgoro's report should provide Ramaphosa with more clarity on whether Jiba duly respected court processes and proceedings as required by applicable prescripts and as a senior member of the National Prosecuting Authority.

And whether Mrwebi is fit and proper to hold office as a prosecutor in the prosecutorial services in particular, in his capacity as a special director of public prosecutions as well as whether he fulfilled his responsibility in his position and if he "acted at all times without fear, favour or prejudice".

This comes after the Supreme Court of Appeal in July overturned a ruling by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that Jiba and Mrwebi be struck from the roll of advocates.

The General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB) filed papers in the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the SCA ruling.

In the papers, GCB chairperson Craig Watt-Pringle SC said he believed there were "reasonable prospects of success in an appeal".

Jiba and Mrwebi are opposing the application. The matter will be heard in court on March 14.

ALSO READ: No evidence of abuse of power, political agenda - Jiba's lawyer tells Mokgoro inquiry

On Saturday, Gambu told News24 that the March 9 date was only provisional, and said the inquiry's work would still be completed within the four months it had been given.

She said former NPA boss Shaun Abrahams' submissions to the inquiry had "inadvertently added work for all parties. After he submitted, his documents had to be processed," she said.

She would not give a date of when Mokgoro would officially present the report to Ramaphosa but said it would be "soon" and in line with the time frame they had been given.

"Even though the inquiry was gazetted on November 9, we did not start working on that day… This actually means we had less than four months to complete our work in line with the March 9 deadline."

"We are well within our deadline for submission. There won't be a need for an extension," Gambu added.

A total of 17 witnesses, including advocates Jiba and Mrwebi have given evidence before the inquiry, as well as two written submissions. 

"The inquiry is currently in the process of receiving submissions and responses from the evidence leading team and both legal representatives of the two advocates," Gambu had said in a statement on Friday.

READ MORE: OVERVIEW: 'We have to take responsibly in that we have failed in addressing the NDPP' - Jiba at #MokgoroInquiry

Following all submissions, the Mokgoro Inquiry will conclude the process of writing the report, which will be submitted to Ramaphosa as per terms of reference, she said. 

Once the President has received the report he will apply his mind to it and consider all submissions including the recommendations made by the panel.

The panelists include Advocate Kgomotso Moroka, SC, and Ms Thenjiwe Vilakazi. 

Read more on:    mokgoro inquiry

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