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

2019-02-28 16:44
Suspended deputy NPA boss Nomgcobo Jiba. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Suspended deputy NPA boss Nomgcobo Jiba. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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While suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba may have made mistakes in her leadership decisions, it is not sufficient to find that she is no longer fit and proper to hold office, the Mokgoro inquiry heard on Thursday.

During closing arguments, Jiba's advocate, Norman Arendse, SC, told the inquiry that there was insufficient evidence about "her honesty, integrity and conscientiousness" to conclude that she was no longer fit and proper to occupy the position.

The inquiry, headed by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, is tasked with establishing whether Jiba and special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi are fit to hold office.

Arendse said the institution of the inquiry had been fuelled in part by the "ongoing narrative in the public domain" that Jiba was not fit to hold office as a result of allegations of misconduct against her arising out of certain judicial criticism.

He said much of the evidence which was before the inquiry was of a "general and unspecified nature that the NPA has somehow been captured, the implication presumably being that advocate Jiba is guilty by association".

"There has however been no evidence of any involvement by her in an abuse of power and in the furtherance of a political agenda," he said.

Arendse also referred to Jiba's husband's presidential pardon.

Jiba's husband, former lawyer and former Scorpions member Booker Nhantsi stole R193 000, which belonged to a client, from his trust fund in 2003.

ALSO READ: There was no way I could save Zuma, Jiba tells Mokgoro inquiry

At the inquiry on Monday, evidence leader Nazreen Bawa, SC, asked how it was that former president Jacob Zuma granted Jiba's husband a pardon the same day she was purported to have been in Durban on September 9, 2010.

Jiba denied that she was in Durban on the day.

On Thursday, Arendse told the inquiry that there was no evidence that Jiba was on the flight. 

He said her husband had already applied for his pardon from 2009 - long before Jiba assumed her "important role". 

"The application is granted on the 8th of September 2010 which of course is just more than a year before Ms Jiba's appointment as acting NDPP," he said.  

Arendse also said when Jiba assumed office as acting NDPP, she "inherited" the withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

READ: 'I faced unprecedented attacks not recorded in South African history' - Jiba

"The decision to not withdraw charges was done on the 4th of December [2011] before she assumed office," he said.  

Arendse also said Jiba inherited the "spy tapes" matter, however, she was not an "active participant" in it.  

Turning to the racketeering charges against former KZN Hawks boss, Major General Johan Booysen, Arendse said: "The panel will also find that the authorisation to charge General Booysen was appropriate."

Read more on:    nomgcobo ­jiba
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