The future of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold the office of deputy national director of public prosecutions and special director of public prosecutions respectively lies in the hands of the Constitutional Court – and President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Yesterday, Jiba and Mwrebi fought for their status as advocates in the ConCourt as the General Council of the Bar (GCB) appealed the 3-2 decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to dismiss the High Court in Pretoria’s 2016 finding they should be struck from the roll of advocates.
Advocate Schalk Burger noted in his heads of argument for the GCB that the minority in the SCA had found Jiba and Mrwebi had given untruthful evidence to the high court in previous proceedings.
“For the most part, the majority did not address the specific allegations of dishonesty, and did not make findings in this regard,” Burger said. “We submit that the findings of dishonesty are well-founded, and provide an ample basis justifying and, in fact, requiring the removal of advocate Jiba and advocate Mrwebi from the roll.”
Jiba held in her opposing affidavit the GCB did not raise an “arguable point of law” in its submission to the ConCourt and noted it was “not entitled to interfere merely because it might have approached the facts differently”.
One of the reasons Mrwebi was being hauled over the coals was his withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against former Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli.
Mwrebi noted in his responding affidavit that “both the high court and the minority in the SCA failed to consider that since I withdrew the fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli in December 2011, the aforesaid charges have never been reinstated for the same reasons that I gave in my consultative note about seven years ago, namely, procedural problems related to the declassification of documents”.
While the ConCourt mulls the arguments, former ConCourt justice Yvonne Mokgoro is expected to hand her findings of the inquiry into the fitness of Jiba and Mrwebi to hold office to Ramaphosa today. With the evidence of 17 witnesses, two written submissions and the testimony of Jiba and Mwrebi to go through, Mokgoro will have had her work cut out for her.
“Once the report is delivered, I communicate via a statement. Also note that the Presidency will do the same,” said Mokgoro inquiry spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu.
“Justice Mokgoro will give us our final marching orders regarding the report.”