Law expert says it would be hard to justify Jiba and Mrwebi staying at NPA
Top NPA officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi are said to be unlikely to get leave to appeal against a high court decision to strike their names from the roll of advocates
IT IS said to be unlikely that Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi will be granted leave to appeal against a court ruling that struck their names from the roll of advocates.
And, according to Centre for Constitutional Rights director Phephelaphi Dube, "one would be hard-pressed to legally justify their continued employment by the" National Prosecuting Authority.
Dube wrote on Monday that the North Gauteng High Court had "made damning findings against the two" NPA executives and expressed disbelief that they would "stoop so low for the protection and defence of one individual who had been implicated in the serious offences".
That was a reference to Jiba’s decision to drop charges against former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli while Mrwebi "sought to mislead the court in those particular proceedings".
The high court heavily criticised Jiba’s conduct in two other matters.
"On the question of what happens next — arguably the chances of success in any appeal are very slim‚" said Dube.
"This is due to the fact that this North Gauteng High Court decision is off the back of previous findings by other courts pertaining to the decision not to proceed with the prosecution against Mdluli.
"It is settled law that leave to appeal is normally granted where there is a reasonable possibility that another court may come to a different conclusion either on the facts or law or both. In this instance‚ that would be unlikely.
"As such‚ in all likelihood‚ the decision that they are not fit and proper will likely stand‚ as is their resultant being struck off the advocates’ roll.
"Being struck off the advocates’ roll means that both Jiba and Mrwebi are simply ineligible for their positions‚ which require one to be fit and proper persons‚ amongst other things‚" Dube said.
"Based on the Supreme Court of Appeal’s reasoning in Democratic Alliance versus president of the Republic of South Africa and others, in which the [resident’s appointment of Menzi Simelane as national director of public prosecutions was held to be inconsistent with the constitution and therefore invalid, one would be hard-pressed to legally justify their continued employment by the authority."