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DA presses on with Jiba probe

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Deputy national director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba might be up for an inquiry into her fitness to hold office if a DA court application is successful.

The opposition party filed an affidavit at the Western Cape High Court after ultimatums to President Jacob Zuma to initiate an inquiry were unheeded.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said in August they would go to court over Jiba’s fitness to hold office as a way to ”firewall” institutions of democracy.

The party’s justice spokesperson Glynnis Breytenbach said its founding affidavit outlines that ”given the prima facie evidence of Ms Jiba’s long list of failings and improper conduct, President Jacob Zuma should suspend her pending a formal inquiry into her suitability to continue as the second-in-command at the NPA”.

Breytenbach survived a disciplinary hearing at the National Prosecuting Authority and is now a Member of the Parliament for the party.

The application raises three instances in its affidavit to support its contention that she is not suitable for the job:
– The litigation against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli;
– The litigation against KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major General Johan Booysens;
– The ”spy tapes” litigation.

The respondents are Zuma, Jiba, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Sean Abrahams, and the General Council of the Bar (GCB).

The affidavit sets out a series of deadlines to be met by the parties in answering affidavits and hopes to have the matter heard in the Western Cape High Court in November.

The first deadline is on Monday, for parties to indicate whether they will oppose the application.

Has been found guilty

The application wants an order setting aside a decision to not suspend Jiba nor hold the inquiry, that an inquiry is held and to suspend Jiba until the outcome of the inquiry and to order that the respondents pay the costs of the application and two counsel.

DA federal chair James Selfe states in the affidavit that a high court and the Supreme Court of Appeal have found her guilty of dishonesty and unbecoming conduct. The previous NDPP had tried to have her suspended and a committee led by retired Constitutional Court Chief Justice Zak Yacoob had recommended that fraud and perjury charges be laid against her.

That was done but they were withdrawn in August shortly after her promotion.

The DA feels that Zuma’s decision to not take any action until the GCB’s application to have her disbarred is finalised, is perverse.

In the matter involving former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, lobby group Freedom Under Law (FUL) asked that a court review and set aside a decision by Special Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi to not prosecute Mdluli on two criminal charges.

As a prosecutions director Breytenbach had written to Jiba to ask her to review the decision not to prosecute, but Jiba took no decision. The FUL application was allegedly delayed by Jiba not filing papers on deadline, or filing incomplete papers, while Mdluli was suspended with pay.

The court also found that she had ”at worst” lied when she said the matter to review the decision had not been brought to her office and by her actions had tried to protect the decision from review.

Lied under oath

In the matter involving suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysens, Jiba had authorised issuing a warrant for his arrest in terms of the Prevention of Criminal Activities Act (Poca) for racketeering.

Booysens asked for a review and Jiba provided four statements to support her decision. It turned out that one was made two weeks after her decision so did not exist when she made her decision, one was not sworn, signed or dated, and none implicated him in the racketeering allegations.

The SCA found she had lied under oath and she was charged with perjury. This is the charge that was withdrawn in August.

In the ”complicated” history of the spy tapes matter, Selfe said the SCA ordered Jiba to give the DA records of the decision to drop fraud and corruption charges against Zuma, but she decided she would only do so if Zuma’s attorneys had no objections.

She later blamed Zuma’s lawyers for not being able to hand it over yet. The DA said she had effectively let Zuma decide what fell within the ambit of the SCA order. News24


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