Deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba will remain on special leave until the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) gives her the green light to return to work.
Jiba’s attorney Zola Majavu confirmed that she had not yet resumed work after the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld her appeal against a high court judgment in 2016, which struck her from the roll of advocates.
“Now that the SCA has spoken, there is no need for that special leave to stay in place but obviously it is an issue that must be resolved by her and her employer, which is the NPA,” Majavu told EWN.
The SCA handed down judgement in Bloemfontein on Tuesday where Judge Jeremiah Shongwe, in a majority judgement, said that the General Council of the Bar had failed to show that Jiba should be struck off the roll.
“Perhaps one may infer some form of incompetence with regard to her duties, which may be a ground to remove her from being the DNDPP but not sufficient enough to be removed from the roll of advocates,” Shongwe said.
The SCA judgment relates to Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi’s, the special director of public prosecutions, handling of the NPA’s case against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
Shongwe said the High Court “started by describing who Mdluli was and detailed his personality, characterised him in an egregious manner as if he was already convicted of the allegations against him”.
“This characterisation, in my view, negatively influenced the court a quo’s evaluation of the manner in which Jiba and Mrwebi handled the Mdluli case. The relevance of which is not clearly explained.”
Jiba and Mrwebi’s return to the NPA offices is now imminent as they await the go ahead from national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams to resume their responsibilities.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said the pair would be welcomed back.
“The NPA is pleased with the judgment of the SCA, as it vindicates the rule of law,” Mfaku told News24.
“We firmly believe that there’s nothing precluding them from resuming their responsibilities, however, the NDPP as the employer will be engaged on the way forward.”