Jiba going on ‘special leave’ while appealing court ruling: lawyer

Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba Deputy Director of NPA Picture: Eugene Coetzee / ©The Herald
Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba Deputy Director of NPA
Picture: Eugene Coetzee / ©The Herald

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba has decided it would be best to allow the process to appeal against a judgment striking her from the roll of advocates without holding office‚ her attorney said on Friday.

Zola Majavu was speaking to eNCA two hours after National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams placed Jiba and head of Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit‚ Lawrence Mrwebi‚ on special leave.

On Thursday‚ high court in Pretoria ruled that the two advocates were struck off the roll of advocates because they were unfit to be members of the Bar.

The ruling is related to their role in dropping criminal charges against Richard Mdluli‚ who was police crime intelligence head from 2009 to 2012.

“The fact of the matter is she [Jiba] will not be in office. She would not be on active duty but all her labour law rights remain intact‚” Majavu said.

He said Jiba respected the court’s finding but was aggrieved by some of the findings made by Judge Francis Legodi and that is why she was applying for leave to appeal.

“The judge made decision on material before him. There is another chance that another panel of judges might come to a different conclusion.”

Majavu said he was surprised no one was commending her from stepping aside‚ despite being no requirement in law for her to do so.

The Democratic Alliance said it welcomed the “special leave” that Jiba and Mwrebi had been placed on.

“This is effectively a suspension pending the outcome of the inevitably fruitless leave to appeal the North Gauteng High Court judgement that struck them off the roll of advocates‚” said the DA spokesperson on justice‚ Glynnis Breytenbach.

She said the suspension was a victory for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the country’s prosecutorial integrity.

“This is also a victory for the General Council of the Bar in their bid to ascertain legal certainty that representatives of the NPA ought to be ‘fit and proper’.

“This suspension will ensure that they do not further facilitate the decline of the NPA and we hope that this signals the first step on their road to departure from the NPA‚” Breytenbach said. – TMG Digital

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