'What was the point of your evidence?' - Jiba lawyer says Booysen's evidence is premature

2019-02-04 18:35
Nomgcobo Jiba (File, Netwerk24)

Nomgcobo Jiba (File, Netwerk24)

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The lawyer for suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba has hit back at former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen, saying it was "hopelessly premature" for him to testify before the Mokgoro inquiry.

"What was the point of your evidence?" advocate Norman Arendse, SC, asked.

"What was the point of all that other than to provide some good theatre here for the media and for others?" Arendse continued.

"I am not here for the media. I am not here for theatre. I have been exposed to the media for the last seven years, so I am not here for theatre or for the media," Booysen said during cross-examination on Monday.

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

Booysen told retired Constitutional Court justice Yvonne Mokgoro, who is chairing the inquiry, that he was testifying at the behest of the evidence leaders who had requested him to assist.

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

Booysen did not mention Mrwebi in his testimony. 

During cross-examination Arendse told Booysen that it was "hopelessly premature for you to testify before us, before the panel, that you shouldn't have been charged and that even if you were to be charged, you would prove, well, obviously the state would have to prove your guilt, but the charges would be ill-founded because there shouldn't be any charges against you." 

Arendse also put it to Booysen that the inquiry was an "important platform" to clear his name and to deal with years of what he regarded as negative publicity.

He said both Booysen's and Jiba's versions were before the court and that they did not think it was necessary for Booysen to testify.

But Booysen said he was only testifying about the process that was followed to prosecute him. 

The former KZN Hawks boss was charged in August 2012 with managing and participating an "enterprise" through a pattern of racketeering activity, News24 previously reported. 

READ: Mokgoro inquiry: Jiba denies flying to Durban with Mdluli to meet with 'someone from ANC'

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.

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 for years. Booysen retired from the SA Police Service in February 2016. 

The Mokgoro inquiry previously heard that Jiba was under pressure to prosecute Booysen for racketeering despite not having evidence against him.   

This was revealed by senior state prosecutor Jan Ferreira who said then-acting KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Simphiwe Mlotshwa stated in an affidavit that he had received a phone call from Jiba, who said: "there is a case and because of pressure it had to be enrolled urgently".

"Later on, he was given an indictment and asked to sign [it]. He refused to sign the indictment without a prosecutorial memo," Ferreira said at the time. 

The inquiry continues on Tuesday.

Read more on:    johan booysen  |  nomgcobo ­jiba

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