Hawks investigators have started interviewing potential witnesses in KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces as they probe allegations of misconduct against Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba.
Two senior police officials told City Press this week that a team of investigators had visited the province last month and took statements from several people – including a high-ranking police official whose name is known to City Press – as part of their investigation.
Earlier this year, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that a perjury charge had been opened against Jiba. However, the Hawks investigation is understood to stem from the Zuma spy tapes case, or Jiba’s alleged unlawful issuing of a racketeering certificate against Hawks KwaZulu-Natal head General Johan Booysen.
Booysen has been placed on special leave pending an appeal by National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega against a ruling by the police board of inquiry, which exonerated Booysen of any misconduct.
“They carried out the interviews as part of the compilation of a docket against her. There was an indication that there would be a decision on whether to prosecute her in the next couple of weeks,’’ said the senior police official.
Jiba was recently hammered for her conduct by the Supreme Court of Appeal in its judgment on the Zuma spy tapes and was similarly criticised in a second matter before the same court for being “less than candid”.
In the spy tapes ruling, the court said Jiba’s conduct was “not worthy of the office of the NDPP. Such conduct undermines the esteem in which the office of the NDPP ought to be held by the citizenry of this country.”
Jiba was also criticised by Durban High Court judge Trevor Gorven for issuing the racketeering certificate against Booysen in the Cato Manor hit squad case. He said in his judgment that Jiba’s “unconstitutional’’ decisions in the matter did not “pass muster’’ and were “arbitrary, offend the principle of legality and therefore the rule of law”.
National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana, who is fighting for survival himself, wrote to President Jacob Zuma after the SCA ruling asking for permission to suspend Jiba.
In August, the NPA confirmed that Jiba and senior officials Sibongile Mzinyathi and Lawrence Mrwebi had been charged with perjury after lobby group Freedom Under Law had the NPA decision to drop criminal charges against former crime intelligence boss General Richard Mdluli, reversed.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Paul Ramaloko referred City Press to Phiyega’s spokesperson Solomon Makgale, who was not immediately available for comment.
NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube refused to comment.