PENDING COURT CASE
Nomgcobo Jiba asks for fitness probe to be stalled
Embattled National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) deputy head Nomgcobo Jiba has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to wait until the Constitutional Court rules on whether she should be struck from the roll of advocates before he decides to institute a court-ordered inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
Jiba was initially struck from the roll together with head of the specialised commercial crimes unit, Lawrence Mrwebi, over the manner in which they dealt with charges against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli. However, this was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) earlier in 2018.
Jiba was seen to be former president Jacob Zuma’s right-hand person at the NPA, which was seen to be politically captured during his time in office.
The SCA ruling opened the door for Jiba and Mrwebi to return to work. The General Council of the Bar (GCB) has now taken this ruling on appeal to the apex court, a case that is unlikely to be finalised this year.
Zola Majavu, Jiba’s attorney, told Business Day on Friday they had asked Ramaphosa, among other things, to wait for the outcome of the GCB’s court bid before he institutes an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
There is also a dispute over whether Jiba and Mrwebi should be allowed to continue working at the NPA while they wait for finality on the GCB application. The NPA said they were allowed to be at work, as the order prohibiting them from doing so was pending the outcome of their appeal to the SCA, which ruled in their favour.
However, Freedom Under Law, which had brought the application that ordered the president to institute the inquiries, said on Thursday it was their understanding that the interim order stands. The organisation’s Nicole Fritz said Jiba and Mrwebi could therefore not go to work and perform their functions pending the finalisation of the GCB’s appeal.