The National Assembly decides not to reinstate Jiba and Mrwebi at NPA

Adocates Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba.
Adocates Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba.
Sarel van der Walt, Netwerk24

The National Assembly on Tuesday resolved that former senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi should not be restored to their senior positions at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The National Council of Provinces also approved the recommendation of its committee, the Select Committee on Security and Justice, not to restore Jiba and Mrwebi.

The portfolio committee on justice and correctional services had made the recommendation last week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa fired Jiba and Mrwebi in April following an inquiry headed by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, News24 previously reported.

The inquiry found they were not "fit and proper to hold their respective offices", according to a statement from the Presidency.

The decision had to be referred to Parliament to determine whether Jiba and Mrwebi should be reinstated, not whether they should be fired.

Jiba made the committee's work easy when she wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise earlier this month, stating she would not be seeking restoration by Parliament to her position in the NPA.

This after her court bid to order Ramaphosa and National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi to reinstate her "with all associated employment benefits with immediate effect", failed.

"The committee recommends that the National Assembly resolve not to restore advocate Nomgcobo Jiba to the office of the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions," read its report.

"The committee also recommends that the National Assembly resolve not to restore advocate Lawrence Sithembiso Mrwebi to the office of the Special Director of Public Prosecutions."

DA MP Werner Horn said the power entrusted to the National Assembly to exercise oversight over the president's decision is a power of checks and balances. He added Parliament should consider the president's actions carefully.

Horn said Ramaphosa had no choice but to institute an investigation into Jiba and Mrwebi, adding the evidence before the commission was damning.

"We must close the book on this shameful chapter of the NPA's history today."

EFF MP Ringo Madlingozi complained the committee had not allowed Mrwebi to address it, adding this was "inhumane".

On October 31, Mrwebi wrote to the committee, asking for an opportunity to address it.

This after he previously used the opportunity afforded to him by the committee to make a representation and after it, at the onset of the proceedings, decided not to call any witnesses.

Last week, the committee decided not to grant him his request.

ANC MP Xola Nqola said there was "no truth to the fact" the Mrwebi was not given a fair chance to represent himself.

"Even in the letter Mrwebi wrote to Parliament, he did not present new facts," Nqola added.

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