Nomgcobo Jiba slams Ramaphosa's decision to sack her as 'abuse of executive power'

Nomgcobo Jiba has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of abusing his powers by firing her.
Nomgcobo Jiba has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of abusing his powers by firing her.

Nomgcobo Jiba has described President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to fire her as an "abuse of executive power" that would not stand up to judicial scrutiny.

Ramaphosa fired Jiba, suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions, and Lawrence Mrwebi, suspended special director of public prosecutions, after an inquiry chaired by retired Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro found them unfit to hold office.

Jiba said in response to the news, in a statement on Friday: "The president conveyed to me that I am disqualified from serving my country in any position in the public service.

"I can assure the president that I will not be stripped, by executive stealth and fiat, of my rights routinely accorded to all citizens to serve this great country in the position of my calling. The president's decision to declare me a prohibited public servant will not stand judicial scrutiny because it is self-evidently wrong, amounts to abuse of executive power, alternatively a failure to properly exercise that power."

Ramaphosa's decision will be sent to parliament within two weeks. Parliament will then have 30 days to decide to either uphold his decision or restore Jiba and Mrwebi to their positions.

Jiba lashed out at the president and the Mokgoro inquiry in her statement, saying the decision to sack her was unfair.

She said that she stood by her evidence presented to the inquiry and that she intended to show that her actions were all done to advance prosecutorial independence and not undermine it. 

"The inquiry’s findings have been most unfair to me. I do not accept them as a final statement on my life and, from today, I will dedicate a significant portion of my remaining life to showing all the black women of South Africa with ambition to become the best in any field that I was a worthy candidate to be a custodian of prosecutorial independence."

Jiba said she was looking forward to Ramaphosa's decision being debated in parliament, where she hoped it and the Mokgoro findings would be found to have been grossly unfair.

"I have consulted my lawyers and have the assurance of their service in taking the matter forward. For now, and upon the resumption of the sixth parliament, the decision of the president must receive the attention of the legislature, which has the last word on my fate," she said.

"I look forward to engaging parliament when the matter of my removal from office is debated – to share with those custodians of our prosecutorial independence, my experience. In that engagement I hope that they will see that the inquiry and the president has been grossly unfair in the manner in which they have handled a matter so important to the principle of prosecutorial independence," Jiba said.

News24 reported on Friday that Mrwebi had refused to comment on Ramaphosa’s decision.

"Since the process is not final until parliament has considered the matter, I am really constrained to comment at this stage," he said.   

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