'Normal' racketeering criteria not met in Booysen case - Mokgoro inquiry hears

2019-02-05 21:34
The Mokgoro Inquiry into the fitness of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office. (Twitter/Mokgoro Enquiry)

The Mokgoro Inquiry into the fitness of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office. (Twitter/Mokgoro Enquiry)

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"Normal" criteria were not met when suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba decided to charge former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen with racketeering, the Mokgoro inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr told retired Constitutional Court justice Yvonne Mokgoro about the process that needed to be followed when charging someone with racketeering. 

In terms of the normal process, one would expect the prosecution team to make representations to an organised desk panel and to be interrogated on it. This would be to show exactly how each person was linked to the evidence and to substantiate it, he said. 

"It is not like you put a report in front of someone and then they just sign up on it. It was very clear, in retrospect, that normal criteria that one expects in a racketeering authorisation were not met," he said.  

Jiba's advocate, Norman Arendse, SC, asked Hofmeyr if he was an expert in evaluating, determining or deciding on racketeering charges and whether they should be prosecuted or not.

Hofmeyr responded that he was not an expert but "the reality is many people who were experts were excluded from this decision".

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

Hofmeyr also told the inquiry that in terms of Jiba's "general skills, she was good", but "unfortunately those skills were not used for good purposes".   

Hofmeyr is expected to continue testifying on Wednesday.  

The inquiry is looking into Jiba's fitness to hold office as well as that of special director of public prosecutions, Lawrence Mrwebi. 

On Monday, Booysen testified before the inquiry and maintained that Jiba used insufficient evidence to charge him.   

"The evidence that she said was before her... could not have been there," Booysen testified. 

Booysen was charged in August 2012 with managing and participating an "enterprise" through a pattern of racketeering activity, News24 previously reported. Apart from the racketeering charges, Booysen was accused of two murders, the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

READ: Mokgoro inquiry: Booysen maintains that Jiba used insufficient evidence to charge him

However, the State withdrew charges of racketeering following a ruling by Judge Trevor Gorven, in which he condemned Jiba's decision to prosecute Booysen, saying the charges did not meet even the barest minimum requirements.

The charges against him were reinstated at a later stage and the matter has been in and out of court.

Booysen retired from the SA Police Service in February 2016.

Read more on:    nomgcobo jiba
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