Ramaphosa to receive Jiba, Mrwebi inquiry report by March 9

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Nomgcobo Jiba (Foto: Theana Breugem)
Nomgcobo Jiba (Foto: Theana Breugem)
Foto: Theana Breugem

A report on whether former deputy prosecutions boss, Nomgcobo Jiba, and her colleague, Lawrence Mrwebi, are fit to hold office will be provided to President Cyril Ramaphosa by no later than March 9, 2019.

This is according to a notice published in the Government Gazette.

Jiba and Mrwebi were suspended in October after Ramaphosa announced his decision to institute inquiries into their fitness to hold office.Jiba is the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions and Mrwebi is the Special Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquiry will provide Ramaphosa with the report, together with all supporting documentation.

Chairperson of the inquiry, retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, said in the notice, which was published on November 29, that the process was not a commission nor was it a disciplinary hearing or trial.

"The inquiry is not determining whether anyone should face criminal prosecution nor whether anyone is civilly liable for any breach of the law," Mokgoro said. 

Mokgoro said parties who wanted to make written and/or legal submissions addressing the terms of reference of the inquiry would have to do so by no later than January 8, 2019. 

"Written submissions must be concise and succinct with reference to relevant law and must be furnished under cover of a brief summary," she said.

READ: Jiba and Mrwebi investigation: Terms of reference revealed

Mokgoro said anyone interested in contributing, including juristic persons, entities, institutions and organs of state with special interest and/or relevant knowledge, were invited to make written submissions and/or provide evidence to the inquiry.

Mokgoro added that parties who requested to provide evidence to the inquiry had to do so by no later than December 20.

She said oral hearings would be open to the public and the media as directed by the rules of the inquiry, though this could be amended from time to time.

In the terms of reference released on November 9, Ramaphosa wants the inquiry to probe whether Jiba properly exercised her discretion in relation to instituting and conducting criminal proceedings on behalf of the state.

Ramaphosa also wants the inquiry to probe whether Jiba duly respected court processes and proceedings as required by applicable prescripts and as a senior member of the National Prosecuting Authority.

"[Has] she in any way brought the National Prosecuting Authority into disrepute by any of her actions or omissions?" read the terms of reference.

Turning to Mrwebi, the inquiry will probe whether he is fit and proper to hold office as a prosecutor in the prosecutorial services in particular, in his capacity as a special director of public prosecutions.

The inquiry will also probe if he fulfilled his responsibility in his position and if he "acted at all times without fear, favour or prejudice".

Mokgoro will be assisted by Kgomotso Moroka SC and Thenjiwe Vilakazi.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa suspends NPA's Jiba, Mrwebi pending inquiry 

In July, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that Jiba and Mrwebi be struck from the roll of advocates.

However, the General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB) later filed papers in the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the SCA ruling.

In the papers, GCB chairperson Craig Watt-Pringle SC said he believed there were "reasonable prospects of success in an appeal".

Jiba and Mrwebi are opposing the application.

The matter will be heard in court on March 14.

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