NPA's Jiba 'shocked' by queries into her qualifications
Deputy national director of public prosecutions advocate Nomgcobo Jiba has broken her silence and said she has been “extremely shocked” at the questions being raised about her qualifications. Speaking exclusively to the Mail & Guardian, Jiba questioned why this was happening now, when she had been employed in the legal profession since 1988.
“Really, I don’t know where this comes from at the end of the day. I do have qualifications,” Jiba said. “I have got a B Juris, I have got an LLB, I have a master’s in commercial law. I have a diploma in labour relations. I have done articles with a law firm.” Asked which high court had provided her admission certificate as an advocate, Jiba declined at first to reveal the information.
“But you know what I want people to do,” said Jiba. “I want people to go to all the high courts and check it out.” The M&G asked her why she could not reveal the court where she had obtained her advocate’s admission certificate.
“All I am prepared to say is that indeed, I can never hide and say I am an admitted advocate where I am not,” she said. The M&G confirmed with the University of Cape Town that Jiba had indeed graduated with an LLM in commercial law in June 1997.
A buoyant Jiba then told the M&G she had been admitted in the high court in Umtata.
The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Nathi Mncube told the M&G on Wednesday that Jiba was still looking for her advocate’s admission certificate. “She [Jiba] is in possession of all legal qualifications, including an LLB and LLM,” he said.
“But she has indicated to the NPA that she is still looking for her admission’s certificate order and she will be supplying it to us as soon as she has found it.” Mncube said it was a serious matter for the NPA. “It is for that reason that the NPA will give her more time to find that certificate to put this matter to rest,” he said.
Career, qualifications questioned
The questions were first raised around Jiba’s qualifications when all advocates were asked to supply copies of their qualifications, and provide their advocate’s admission certificates.
A report describing how Jiba’s qualifications were being questioned at the NPA then appeared two weeks ago in the Sunday Independent, and led to a close look at her career to date. In 1999, Jiba joined the now defunct Investigating Directorate for Serious Economic Offences (known as the Scorpions) in Pretoria as a senior state advocate.
When the unit was disbanded and replaced by the Directorate of Special Operations – or Hawks – she was made one of the deputy directors of public prosecutions at the NPA. Jiba was later appointed the acting national director of public prosecutions by President Jacob Zuma, until he was forced to find a full-time person for the post by a court order.
Her successor was Mxolisi Nxasana, who was recently accused of failing his security clearance. Zuma is now trying to suspend Nxasana and the president has said he is planning set up a commission of inquiry into whether he is fit and proper for the job. When Nxasana’s job was placed under threat, Jiba was accused by some in the NPA of being one of the staffers who was undermining him and trying to get rid of him.
However, Jiba refused to be drawn in on the accusations that she might be actively opposing Nxasana, and told the M&G it was beneath her to comment on the matter.