Power games at NPA

27 March 2015 - 02:01 By Graeme Hosken and Shaun Smillie

The deputy head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Nomgcobo Jiba, has refused to sign an acknowledgement of her receipt of a summons to appear in court. She reportedly told her boss that she answers only to President Jacob Zuma.Jiba, who went AWOL earlier this week, met NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana, in Silverton, near Pretoria, yesterday.Jiba - whom an NPA insider said "oozed confidence" - apparently refused to explain her disappearance or explain why she had not answered Nxasana's phone calls.NPA spokesman Velekhaya Mgobhozi confirmed that Jiba had refused to sign the summons.Jiba had not returned cellphone calls or SMSes from The Times by the time of going to press.The summons requires Jiba to answer questions in court next month in connection with her alleged fabrication of elements of a document in which she certified that the NPA believed that sufficient evidence had been obtained by the police to warrant the prosecution for racketeering of the KwaZulu-Natal head of the Hawks, Major-General Johan Booysen.Booysen was accused of heading a Durban police death squad. He was cleared of all criminal and departmental charges.In January, Zuma said a commission of inquiry would be established to determine if Nxasana were fit for his post.Nxasana allegedly failed to disclose his own brushes with the law, including his acquittal on murder and assault charges.The commission was meant to finish its work within six weeks but has yet to begin, and the Presidency has failed to meet a deadline for the submission of documents to the commission.An NPA source said that the sequence of events had aroused suspicions among some of the authority's officers that Jiba had phoned Zuma after learning about the court summons, and that Zuma then phoned national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega.The source said Phiyega then phoned Nxasana and demanded to know why the NPA was "meddling" in a police investigation."It is clear political strings are being pulled," said the source.Police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale dismissed these claims.He said national detective head Lieutenant-General Vinesh Moonoo told Phiyega that a summons had been issued.Mgobhozi said: "The NPA doesn't take instructions from the police. The NPA decides when the matter is ready for court."Johan Burger, of the Institute for Security Studies, said the inter-departmental fighting of the NPA, the Hawks and the police "was a result of moves to prevent the president and those loyal to him from being prosecuted".

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day, Financial Mail or Rand Daily Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.