Decision to axe Jiba and Mrwebi still stands, says Ramaphosa

27 June 2019 - 21:06 By Qaanitah Hunter
Former deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba. File photo.
Former deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba. File photo.
Image: Antonio Muchave

President Cyril Ramaphosa says his decision to fire top prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi still stands, despite a finding by the Constitutional Court that the pair can continue practising as advocates. 

His spokesperson Khusela Diko said the decision Ramaphosa took earlier this year to axe the pair was separate from the attempt by the General Council of the Bar to have the pair disbarred. 

On Thursday the General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB) lost its bid at the apex court to have the pair struck from the roll of advocates.

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The Supreme Court of Appeal had earlier ruled in favour of Jiba and Mrwebi, overturning a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that had ordered they be struck from the roll of advocates.

"Its important to highlight that this case was brought on appeal by General Council of the Bar seeking to have the two advocates struck off the roll of advocates. It is totally separate and an unrelated matter to the inquiry into fitness to hold office that had been initiated by the president last year,” she said. 

Diko said Ramaphosa noted and respected the decision of the Constitutional Court. 

“The Constitutional Court ruling has no bearing or does not change the decision the president has taken in relation to the two advocates,” she said. 

Diko said the inquiry was whether the pair were fit and proper persons to hold the lofty positions they did in the National Prosecuting Authority and that they were fired on the recommendation of the inquiry. 

This decision, in terms of the law, has been sent to parliament for ratification. If parliament disagrees with the decision, the pair may be reinstated in their positions. 

Both Jiba and Mrwebi had indicated that they would take the Mokgoro Inquiry report that recommended their dismissal on judicial review.