Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi should not return to NPA, says parliament

27 November 2019 - 17:16 By Ernest Mabuza
Nomgcobo Jiba. File photo.
Nomgcobo Jiba. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Cornel van Heerden

Parliament's portfolio committee on justice and correctional services on Wednesday recommended that the National Assembly should not restore advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Jiba, who was deputy director of public prosecutions, and Mrwebi, who was special director of public prosecutions, were suspended in October last year.

Committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe said the committee found no reason to restore them to their respective offices.

President Cyril Ramaphosa dismissed the pair in April following a recommendation by the commission of inquiry into their fitness to hold office, which was led by retired Constitutional Court justice Yvonne Mokgoro.

The committee found that the process Ramaphosa followed in reaching his decision to terminate their posts was fair and that he applied his mind properly.

The committee noted that Ramaphosa’s letter of April 25 2019 made it clear that his decision was based on the findings of the Mokgoro inquiry and that these findings, based on the evidence before the inquiry, were of an extremely serious nature.

The committee said the president noted in his letter that he considered the representations made by lawyers for Jiba and Mrwebi.

Ramaphosa said he did not find that they had raised “any response or reason not to accept the [Mokgoro inquiry's] conclusion”.

“Furthermore, the committee is of the view that the representations placed before it by advocate Mrwebi do not raise any reason for it to find that the president did not apply his mind properly to the matter before him,” Magwanishe said.

The committee said it was also of the view that the documents and representations before it did not present any reason for it to find that the process followed was unfair.

Magwanishe said the committee had done due diligence in this matter. He said both Jiba and Mrwebi were given an opportunity to make representations to the committee.

"Advocate Mrwebi took the opportunity. Advocate Jiba turned to the courts to stop our process. After the courts rejected her application, she informed the committee that she will not continue with the process, as she wants to move on with her life,” Magwanishe said.

Magwanishe said the committee did everything in its power to afford all parties a fair opportunity to state their case.

“Based on the process we followed and reports and representations considered, we are of the view that neither should be restored to office,” Magwanishe said.