The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), advocate Shamila Batohi, on Friday welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that he had fired controversial senior state prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi following adverse findings against the two in an inquiry.
“The President’s decision to dismiss Advocates Jiba and Mrwebi from the National Prosecuting Authority, based on the report and recommendations of the Mokgoro Inquiry, chaired by Justice Mokgoro, has ended months of uncertainty in the NPA. It has unburdened the NPA from certain issues that have weighed negatively on the organisation’s credibility and reputation. It sets a new path for the NPA,” said Batohi.
“This decision comes at an important time for South Africa as the country yearns for accountability and a revived commitment to the rule of law – a fundamental principle in our Constitution. As the Mokgoro report reminds us, it is imperative that the NPA performs its critical role independently, in accordance with the law and the spirit of the Constitution.”
Batohi said Mokgoro’s report highlighted the principles that must guide prosecutors in South Africa.
“Anything less weakens the rule of law, and ultimately undermines the social contract that binds South Africans together. The report decisively highlights the guiding principles that all prosecutors – regardless of rank or title – are expected to uphold,” she said.
Ramaphosa’s decision, once confirmed by parliament, will enable the NDPP “to begin to move ahead on her commitment to rebuild the leadership of the NPA in line with her vision for the organisation: a vision where justice wins again, and where all South Africans have confidence in the integrity and capacity of the NPA to deliver on its Constitutional mandate”.
An inquiry chaired by retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro heard damning evidence against the suspended state lawyers in February. Earlier this month, having received the final report, Ramaphosa sent it to Jiba and Mrwebi, asking them to respond to the findings in the form of representations.
Ramaphosa announced their sacking on Friday, saying the Mokgoro Inquiry had found that they were not fit to hold office and following representations by the two on the findings, the president informed them “their tenure has ended with immediate effect”.
– African News Agency (ANA)