/ 12 March 2019

Jiba did not lie about her qualifications or mislead NPA — lawyers

Suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba.
Suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

There is no evidence that suggests that suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba “in any way misled” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) when it came to her appointment as deputy director of public prosecutions (DDPP) in 2001.

This was the submission which Jiba’s counsel made to the Mokgoro inquiry, which is determining her fitness to hold office as well as that of suspended special director of public prosecutions, Lawrence Mrwebi.

“The fact that the recruitment and appointment process for DDPPs adopted by the NPA may be based on an incorrect interpretation of the law is of no consequence to this inquiry,” Jiba’s legal team said in written submissions to the inquiry.

“It, therefore, has no bearing on her fitness to continue in office as a deputy national director.”

READ MORE: Jiba’s evidence under scrutiny

During cross-examination at the inquiry last month, evidence leader, advocate Nazreen Bawa, asked Jiba to confirm that she had only been admitted to the roll of advocates in 2010 and that she had not been admitted as an attorney before that.

Jiba confirmed this, saying she had only passed the attorney admission exams but had never been admitted as an attorney.

She also told the inquiry that she was unable to answer what those who appointed her considered when she was made a deputy director.

Her legal team said she obtained two letters from Matshidiso Modise — the NPA’s chief director of human resources management and development.

Modise clarified the NPA’s practice and stated that it did not require an admission as an advocate for a deputy director of public prosecutions. As a minimum requirement, the person must be able to obtain the right of appearance in terms of the Right of Appearance in Courts Act.

READ MORE: Evidence against Jiba ‘circumstantial at best’ — Arendse

She adds that once a person is appointed, they can be afforded an opportunity to obtain right of appearance.

“There can therefore be no suggestion that she either misled the panel or lied about her qualifications or appointment,” said Jiba’s lawyers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended both Jiba and Mrwebi in October 2018, pending the outcome of the Mokgoro inquiry.

READ MORE: Jiba scores a ‘yes’ – and a ‘no’

Mokgoro is expected to present her report to Ramaphosa soon. — News24