February 21 was a historic day for Nomgcobo Jiba: it was the first time she spoke out publicly against allegations, circulating for years, that she had protected powerful individuals and politicians in discharging her duties as a senior official of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Jiba’s tone was one of measured outrage as she told her side of a story that has spanned more than a decade. She was speaking at an inquiry, chaired by former Constitutional Court justice Yvonne Mokgoro, into her fitness to hold office. Jiba told how she had started as a young Eastern Cape prosecutor and, against all odds, had risen through the ranks of the NPA. She said she had proved an inspiration when she was appointed deputy national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) in 2010, and shortly thereafter as acting head of the NPA — a first for a black woman in SA. But, she said, she had been shocked by the pushback to her elevation. "When my appointment to the position of deputy NDPP in 2010 w...

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