National 15.9.2016 07:11 pm

Jiba to appeal court ruling

National Prosecuting Authority deputy head, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: Gallo Images

National Prosecuting Authority deputy head, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: Gallo Images

Jiba was on Wednesday struck off the roll of advocates for her handling of former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli’s case.

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NPA), Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, will appeal the decision by the North Gauteng High Court to strike her off the roll of advocates, her lawyer said on Thursday.

“We are working on her application for leave to appeal which we hope to file in the next few days,” Advocate Zola Majavu said.

The advocate made his remarks after the High Court in Pretoria ordered that Jiba and Special Director of Public Prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi be struck off the roll of advocates.

The General Council of the Bar had applied to the court to have them struck from the roll after several adverse ruling against them.

Handing down judgment, Judge Francis Legodi said Jiba and Mrwebi should have stood firm and prosecuted suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli on the charges of fraud and corruption.

“I cannot believe that two officers of the court (advocates) who hold such high positions in the prosecuting authority will stoop so low for the protection and defence of one individual who had been implicated in serious offences,” the judgment read.

“In fact, taking into account the kind of personality (referring to Mdluli), Mrwebi and Jiba had to deal with, they should have stood firm and vigorous in the ground by persisting to prosecute Mdluli on fraud and corruption charges,” the judgment continued.

“By their conduct, they did not only bring the prosecuting authority and the legal profession into disrepute, but have also brought the good office of the president of the Republic of South Africa into disrepute by failing to prosecute Mdluli … It is this kind of behaviour that diminishes the image of our country and its institutions which are meant to be impartial, independent and transparent in the exercise of their legislative public powers.”

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He said Jiba and Mrwebi were assigned to deal with the surge of crimes like fraud and corruption by investigating and prosecuting them without fear, favour and prejudice.

Legodi said that Jiba was like a commander-in-chief and was 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 so, has failed the citizens of this country and in the process, brought the image of the legal profession and prosecuting authority into disrepute,” the judgment read.

The judge said Mrwebi and Jiba should be found to have ceased to be fit and proper persons to remain on a roll of advocates.

“The names of Ms Nomgcobo Jiba and Mr Lawrence Sithembiso Mrwebi are hereby struck from the roll of advocates,” said Legodi.

Jiba and Mrwebi have, in the past, been criticised by the Supreme Court of Appeal and by High Court judges for the decision to withdraw corruption, fraud, and murder charges against Mdluli.

However, Advocate Majavu said his client, Jiba, was appealing the judgment, which if allowed to stand would have an adverse impact on her.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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