NEWS

Why You Should Care About Jiba And Mrwebi's Court Bid

A few points on why all South Africans should closely follow the court case of Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, who are looking to be reinstated on the roll of advocates.

08/12/2016 20:13 SAST | Updated 09/12/2016 06:58 SAST
Gallo Images

Nomgcobo Jiba is the deputy director of Public Prosecutions and the right-hand person to the big boss of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Shaun Abrahams while Lawrence Mrwebi is the head of the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit. The pair is fighting to keep their lofty positions after a court ruled that they should be struck off the advocates roll.

The General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB) applied for their removal after their conduct and how they carried out their duties was heavily criticised . They have also been accused of halting moves to have President Jacob Zuma appear in court.

They have been involved in other high-profile cases which seem to stall in courts or are very difficult to prosecute and win. The cases include that of former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen and former Police Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

With the Mdluli matter, the Supreme Court of Appeals found that Jiba used her position to suppress the prosecutor in the case who was at the time DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach. It is believed the decision was endorsed and rubber stamped by Mrwebi. The court ruled that the pair was wrong for the decision.

In the Booysen case, the High Court in Durban found that Jiba authorised the prosecution with a document that did not exist when the decision was made.

Then there was the whole Spy Tapes saga that played out in courts and which, eventually, the Democratic Alliance ended up winning and getting their hands on them.

Not 'fit and proper'

The pair's involvement in high-profile cases was the departure point for the court action which they emerged from extremely bruised. The court found that the pair were not "fit and proper" to be advocates. The court further stipulated that they lied, brought the image of the legal profession and the NPA into disrepute.

That was just a snippet of what was said in court. Below is a more detailed judgment delivered by Judge Francis Legodi.

"Mzinyathi, Breytenbach and other prosecuting officials who were involved in the investigation of charges against and prosecuting of Mdluli, were like foot soldiers in a war-zoned area crying loud for the freedom and space to declare war and to fight against serious crimes that are crippling our country and threatening investment. Jiba, on the other hand, was like a commander-in-chief and in charge, required to lead by example. But instead, she flouted every rule in the fight against crime.

"Her failure to intervene when she was required to do, has failed the citizens of this country, and in this process brought the image of the legal profession and prosecuting authority into disrepute.

"Both Mrwebi and Jiba should be found to have ceased to be fit and proper person to remain on the roll of advocates."

The pair has challenged the decision and the court is hearing the matter. The outcome of that process will have a significant bearing on the prosecution system and it's advisable for all to be informed.

MORE:News