CAPE TOWN – The second most powerful person at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been castigated by the courts for her handling of high-profile cases, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) was arguing in support of its application to have Nomgcobo Jiba suspended pending an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
The opposition political party took the matter to court because it believes President Jacob Zuma’s decision not to suspend her, in light of serious and repeated judicial criticism, was patently unlawful and irrational.
Advocate Sean Rosenberg told the court that former NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana was confronted with three judgments in a short period of time, castigating Jiba.
She was criticised for her handling of the Richard Mdluli saga, the spy tapes matter, and her decision to prosecute former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen.
In response to these judgments, she was charged with perjury and fraud and steps were taken to have her removed from the roll of advocates.
But the charges were withdrawn when Shaun Abrahams was appointed head of the NPA last year.
In an affidavit deposed by senior advocate and former head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) Willie Hofmeyr late last month, he said Abrahams had aligned himself with a systematic pattern of improperly protecting Jiba.
The DA wanted the court to admit Hofmeyr’s affidavit to bolster its case, but the court declined the party’s interlocutory application.