Inquiry asks if Nomgcobo Jiba will face charges again
The charges against Jiba were dropped in 2015 by then NPA boss Shaun Abrahams
The possible prosecution of suspended deputy National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Nomgcobo Jiba took centre stage at the inquiry into her fitness to hold office on Wednesday.
The legal teams were ordered to establish if she would be charged again for fraud and perjury, relating to the processes she followed in charging former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen with racketeering.
The inquiry, chaired by retired justice Yvonne Mokgoro, is looking into Jiba and suspended special director Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.
Advocate Jan Ferreira, who was the prosecutor when Jiba was initially charged, was scheduled to testify on Wednesday.
The charges against Jiba were dropped in 2015 by then NPA boss Shaun Abrahams. This was despite the prosecutors, including Ferreira, providing a legal opinion that stated that the decision to charge her was sound.
In December 2017 the high court in Pretoria reviewed and set aside the decision to drop the charges.
Abrahams referred the matter for consideration to the director of public prosecutions in the North West. A decision on the matter has, however, not been communicated yet.
Jiba’s counsel, Thabani Masuku, on Wednesday stalled Ferreira’s testimony, saying the suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions would be prejudiced as there was not yet any indication as to whether Jiba would be recharged or not.
He asked the inquiry to ask the NPA to come and state what the decision was, as he was instructed that a decision has been taken, but that she has not yet been informed.
He said it was not “fair” to “even ask Jiba to respond to a potential prosecutor”, and that the decision taken by the NPA on the matter, would have an impact on how Ferreira would by cross-examined.
Following a ruling by chair retired justice Yvonne Mokgoro, the legal teams now have to get clarity on the status of the decision. The parties have to furnish the panel at the inquiry with the decision in writing on Wednesday.
They also have until Thursday morning to file heads of argument on how the right to a fair trial will be impacted, as both Ferreira and Jiba’s versions have been aired in court.
Evidence leader Nazreen Bawa said earlier on Wednesday that the inquiry could not avoid dealing with those issues.