Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach on Tuesday said deputy national prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba was tipped to become the new head of the Special Investigating Unit, but the presidency dismissed this as speculation.
“According to sources close to the SIU, the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) second-in-command, Nomgcobo Jiba, is rumoured to be tipped to be [Vas] Soni’s successor,” Breytenbach, a former prosecutor turned politician, said in a statement.
“This is the very last individual he should appoint to head up the SIU.
“If President Jacob Zuma appoints Jiba as SIU boss it will be the death of yet another crucial anti-crime and corruption unit.”
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj dismissed Breytenbach’s claim, and said Zuma had yet to make a decision on appointing a successor to Soni.
“We will be attending to the matter in due course,” he said.
“They are speculating as usual and that is wild speculation.”
The presidency has in recent weeks repeatedly accused the Democratic Alliance of making misleading statements about upheaval in the country’s top corruption fighting bodies.
Breytenbach and DA leader Helen Zille have both contended that Anwa Dramat was suspended as head of the Hawks because he was trying to investigate the abuse of public funds in the R246 million upgrade of Zuma’s homestead at Nkandla.
The presidency termed Zille’s remarks mischievous, while a spokesman for Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said she was “politicking”.
Soni on Monday confirmed his resignation after 18 months in the post, and said he was stepping down because his wife was ill.
Breytenbach said his departure would be a setback in the fight against corruption, and added that time would tell whether he was truly leaving for personal reasons.
“Whether or not this is the main reason remains to be seen.”
She accused Jiba of political expediency.
“Jiba has had a chequered career in the NPA. She has been preoccupied with quick and easy access to power in exchange for political favours for President Zuma.” SAPA