22/12/2017 07:02 SAST | Updated 22/12/2017 07:02 SAST

High Court Overturns Abrahams' Decision Not To Prosecute Jiba

President Jacob Zuma has been ordered to suspend Jiba and institute a commission of inquiry into her conduct.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams (R) walks past Nomgcobo Jiba as he leaves at the end of a media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, May 23, 2016.

The decision by NPA head Shaun Abrahams to withdraw charges of perjury and fraud against his deputy, Nomgcobo Jiba, has been overturned by the North Gauteng High Court. News24 reported that on Thursday, the court also ruled that President Jacob Zuma should institute an inquiry into Jiba's conduct and that of her colleague, Lawrence Mrwebi.

Abrahams reportedly withdrew the charges against Jiba in 2015. She was charged for her conduct when she pursued the former head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, Johan Booysen, for racketeering. Jiba and Mrwebi were struck from the roll of the General Council of the Bar last year for how they handled the case against former crime intelligence head, Richard Mdluli.

Jiba and Mrwebi were granted leave to appeal that decision in January this year, and Zuma decided not to institute an inquiry into Jiba's conduct or to suspend her.

The court found that Abrahams' decision to withdraw the charges against Jiba was based on a material error in law, according to Eyewitness News.

Abrahams had reportedly relied on a provision of the Organised Crime Act which absolves someone of criminal liability if it can be shown that they acted in good faith. But the court held that it was not the exercise of Jiba's powers that was at issue, but her conduct during a review application brought by Booysen.

The case was brought by Freedom Under Law. Freedom Under Law CEO Nicole Fritz told EWN that the judgment "potentially allows for an end finally to the chronic instability that has fallen the NPA over the last decade."

Afiforum announced in November that it intends instituting legal action to privately prosecute Jiba.