It was tough under Mxolisi Nxasana - Nomgcobo Jiba

Suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba defending her fitness for office and qualification at Mokgoro commission of Inquiry.
Suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba defending her fitness for office and qualification at Mokgoro commission of Inquiry.
Image: Gallo Images

Suspended deputy NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba yesterday described the abnormal conditions in which she worked under during the tenure of former boss Mxolisi Nxasana.

Jiba told Justice Mokgoro commission of inquiry sitting in Centurion how difficult it was for her to work at the NPA in 2014 after she was moved from the national prosecution unit to the civil litigation unit.

Nxasana wrote to Jiba wanting handover reports on several high-profile cases including the spy tapes case against former president Jacob Zuma.

"The atmosphere at that time was the atmosphere of fear. I had fears that something [was] really set up to happen to me," she said. "Those were not normal times. I had advised him [Nxasana] on how this institution operates . It was not really a conducive atmosphere."

In 2015, Nxasana received a R17m golden handshake when he left the NPA after Zuma had negotiated his exit. The Constitutional Court has since ruled that Zuma abused his power when removing Nxasana.

Jiba said she did not provide the reports that Nxasana wanted as he had been "briefed on all the cases".

"I did not respond in writing. he had already received briefings on all of these matters. Those briefings were given in my absence because, exercising his discretion, he decided not to invite me in those particular meetings," she said.

Jiba was testifying in the inquiry established to look into her fitness - and that of suspended special director of public prosecutions advocate Lawrence Mrwebi - to hold office. President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended the two in October pending the outcome of the inquiry

Yesterday, Jiba also had to answer about her credentials as a lawyer. Inquiry's evidence leader Adv Nazreen Bawa, SC, first asked Jiba to confirm that she was only admitted as an advocate in 2010.

"You were not an attorney then?" asked Bawa. "I had just passed the board exam. I did not go into practice," Jiba said.

"It seems as if as a criteria for the appointment as a deputy director of public prosecutions, you need to have rights of appearance at the high court. and it seems as if you had not been admitted as an attorney, how did you get the right of appearance to become a deputy director of public prosecution?"

"I do not know. Those that appointed me, Miss Bawa, may be able answer that question."

Jiba's legal representatives described Bawa's questions as irrelevant and promised to challenge this at a later stage.

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