In less than a week, the courts have delivered crushing judgments against individuals in top positions believed to be close to President Jacob Zuma.
Last Thursday, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that Nomgcobo Jiba, the deputy national director of public prosecutions, and Lawrence Mrwebi, special director of public prosecutions, had brought the National Prosecuting Authority and the legal profession into disrepute by failing to prosecute former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli. Jiba was also roasted for acting improperly in the failed prosecution of KwaZulu-Natal head of the Hawks, Major-General Johann Booysens.
Jiba and Mrwebi were struck off the roll and disqualified from operating as advocates. They have since been placed on special leave and have both indicated they would appeal against the high court decision.
Yesterday, another Zuma ally, embattled SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng suffered another court defeat after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal a ruling by the high court in Cape Town‚ which in effect set aside his permanent appointment at the broadcaster. It is highly troubling that the country’s vital institutions should be infested with men and women of questionable moral character.
Even the elite police unit, the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (the Hawks), is headed by one Berning Ntlemeza who was described as lacking honesty and integrity by a high court judge. No wonder under his watch the Hawks are being abused by a powerful ruling party faction to settle political scores.
It’s an indictment of Zuma and the ANC that our already overburdened courts should step in and reverse irrational appointments to key positions in government and other institutions by the ANC government.
Zuma must now do the right thing: redeem himself and spare himself, his party and the country further embarrassment by removing his loyalists such as Jiba and Mrwebi from positions they are not suitable for.