National Prosecuting Authority deputy director for public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba said on Wednesday she had been tempted to resign as a result of the barrage of media reports and allegations surrounding her conduct.
“At some point, I was tempted to hand in my resignation, but told myself I am here to serve the people of this country and decided not to do so [resign],” she said in Johannesburg following the withdrawal of a fraud and perjury case in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.
She said media reports that portrayed her as a “diva and being a survivor with nine lives” had hurt her and her family.
Jiba went on to talk about her background as a prosecutor. She said she began her prosecution career in the Eastern Cape in 1988.
“I was not picked up from the streets and appointed national director of public prosecutions [NDPP] in 2010. I had been making decisions as prosecutor since 1988, not from the year 2012.”
She added that she was committed to the Constitution.
“As a prosecutor we do the job without fear or favour, we make decisions based on evidence presented to us … whenever I make decisions, I make them based on the facts before me.”
Her lawyer, Zola Majavu, said previous NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana had been warned not to proceed with the criminal case against Jiba.
“The previous NPA head was warned to not proceed because this case was a problem, but we respected his decision to go to court. We were ready to proceed with the trial today … my client has not been done a favour by what happened in court today,” he said.
NDPP Shaun Abrahams announced on Tuesday that charges against Jiba would be formally withdrawn in court.
Jiba was to go on trial on Wednesday on charges relating to her decision to prosecute Johan Booysen, the head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, on racketeering charges, but the charges were formally withdrawn in court that morning.
When asked to respond to allegations that she enjoyed political protection, Jiba said she was disappointed by the allegations.
“I have never been biased towards anyone in my decisions, I never helped anybody. I have been accused of working for President [Jacob] Zuma and even the police ministry at some point. I don’t work for Zuma. I can’t be because I am a prosecutor.” – ANA