Jiba's plea to Ramaphosa: 'Don't make me part of SA's unemployment stats'

Suspended deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba has been axed.
Suspended deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba has been axed.
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

Nomgcobo Jiba asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to retain her as a top prosecutor instead of firing her but the president declined to‚ saying she did not have the honesty to serve in the state.

At the same time‚ Ramaphosa rejected Lawrence Mrwebi’s plea to be allowed to retire due to his "advanced age" instead of facing the axe.

The president said the findings made against Mrwebi were too serious to ignore.

In letters informing the pair about their dismissal‚ the president said he had decided to accede to the recommendation made by retired constitutional court justice Yvonne Mokgoro that they should be removed and were unfit for office.

"Your request to be appointed in a senior position in the public service cannot be acceded to because of the findings of dishonesty and disregard for the courts that have been made against you in the enquiry report‚" Ramaphosa said to Jiba in his letter.

"These findings would preclude your appointment to such position as these are qualities that are required of all senior public servants."

In her plea to Ramaphosa‚ Jiba said her removal from office would cause undue hardship to her family.

"With the unemployment rate in the country‚ I should not be made part of those statistics by our government‚" she pleaded after rejecting Mokgoro’s findings.

Jiba said she was a skilled professional woman "with institutional knowledge and memory in the NPA as a career prosecutor which government can ill afford to lay to waste".

"The panel found that you lied to me‚" Ramaphosa said in reference to Jiba telling him last year that she appointed prosecutors in the case involving former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen but contradicting this under oath.

He said her removal as deputy national director of public prosecutions was effective immediately.

Turning to Mrwebi‚ Ramaphosa said in his letter that he could not agree to have him retire instead of being fired.

"Your request that you be given the opportunity to retire‚ in light of your age cannot be acceded to because of the seriousness of the findings against you‚" the president said.

He said the panel found that Mrwebi lied to the commission about when he wrote a memo about the withdrawal of charges against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

"The panel noted that you were dishonest before the enquiry itself. Such conduct cannot be countermanded for a person in your position‚" Ramaphosa said.

The panel also found that Mrwebi lied to court under oath.

Mrwebi argued in his submissions that the enquiry was unfair but Ramaphosa rejected this.

It is unclear when Ramaphosa will replace Jiba as one of the four deputy national directors of public prosecutions.

In the meantime‚ it is expected that advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi‚ who is a director of public prosecutions in Pretoria‚ will continue acting in that position.

A decision about whether the pair should be disbarred is still pending at the Constitutional Court.

- TMG Digital

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