Nomgcobo Jiba promises to stay away from NPA as court mulls her case
Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba has given an undertaking that she will not go to the offices of the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) pending the outcome of her bid to appeal a High Court judgment that struck her from the roll of advocates.
The General Council of the Bar had brought an application to have her, Lawrence Mrwebi and Sibongile Mzinyathi struck from the roll for how they handled three highly political cases. These included the NPA’s decision to drop corruption charges against the former head of the crime intelligence division‚ Richard Mdluli. Only Jiba and Mrwebi were struck from the roll.
NPA boss Shaun Abrahams, in a separate lawyer’s letter, also gave the assurance that it was not necessary for Jiba to come to the office before there is judgment on the appeal, which — as the matter was argued in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in February and March this year — he expected would "likely be given shortly".
Abrahams also emphasised that Jiba did not perform any functions at the NPA, nor would he allow her to do so. This comes after Freedom Under Law (FUL) threatened an urgent contempt of court proceeding after the state attorney confirmed in an earlier letter that Jiba had visited the NPA offices on three occasions this year.
In December last year, the High Court ordered that, pending the finalisation of her appeal, she be prohibited from entering the NPA offices or performing any functions relating to her position as deputy national director of public prosecutions.
According to the state attorney, she had visited the offices to complete and file her financial disclosures. She was also granted permission to go to the NPA offices to collect a personal document in her office, and she attended a meeting with Abrahams about a historical case of which she had institutional knowledge that Abrahams required.
FUL had given Abrahams and Jiba until 5pm on Tuesday to give the undertaking, which both parties met.
In a letter to FUL from her attorney, Zola Majavu wrote that Jiba continued to respect the rule of law and specifically the relevant court orders. "Our client further confirms that in order to avoid an impression that she is contemptuous of the courts, she hereby gives an undertaking to refrain from attending to the offices."
Abrahams also indicated in his letter that should any appeal arise following the SCA judgment, he would abide by his undertaking to FUL pending such an appeal.
The state attorney, however, reiterated that Abrahams did not breach the court order, nor did he act in contempt of it.