Lobby group AfriForum says it is ready to privately prosecute deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba following the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) decision on Tuesday to overturn her being struck off the roll of advocates.
The court on Tuesday overturned the striking off the advocates’ roll of Jiba and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) specialised commercial crimes head Lawrence Mrwebi.
In a majority judgment, the SCA upheld Jiba and Mrwebi’s appeal against a 2016 ruling by the Pretoria High Court with costs.
The two were struck off the roll of advocates in 2016 for their handling of former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli’s case. The SCA ruled on Tuesday that they should be reinstated.
The lobby group said the SCA’s decision would “not be an obstacle in the presumed criminal charges against Jiba”.
AfriForum head of anticorruption unit Monique Taute said in a statement that the group would proceed with the process of privately prosecuting Jiba.
“The NPA now has no reason not to make a decision regarding AfriForum’s application for a nolle prosequi certificate,” Taute said.
“It is now even more vital that Jiba is criminally prosecuted. The NPA’s answer to our request for a nolle prosequi certificate was that they will base their decision pending the judgment of today’s appeal process. The NPA now has no choice other than to announce their decision regarding the reinstitution of Jiba’s prosecution. If the NPA decides not to prosecute, AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is at the ready to privately prosecute her,” Taute further said in the statement.
.@afriforum will proceed at full capacity with the process to privately prosecute Jiba. The NPA now has no reason not to make a decision regarding AfriForum’s application for a nolle prosequi certificate,” says @monique_taute, Head of AfriForum’s Anti-Corruption Unit. #gerrienel
— AfriForum (@afriforum) July 11, 2018
The lobby group announced last year that it would seek to privately prosecute Jiba on charges of fraud and perjury.
It was reported at the time of the announcement that AfriForum sought to prosecute Jiba for allegedly defeating the ends of justice for her part in an alleged plan to hinder a corruption case against a KwaZulu-Natal businessman linked to former president Jacob Zuma.
AfriForum was acting on behalf of former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen who, according to the group, had been targeted for initiating investigations against the Zuma linked businessman, it was further reported.
Meanwhile, EWN reports that former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach said the SCA’s decision to reinstate Jiba and Mrwebi would have serious repercussions for the NPA.