'Nomgcobo Jiba wanted to discredit and embarrass me,' says ex-NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana

Former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana has accused former senior prosecutor Nomgcobo Jiba of mudslinging.
Former NDPP Mxolisi Nxasana has accused former senior prosecutor Nomgcobo Jiba of mudslinging.
Image: Alaister Russell

Sacked senior prosecutor Nomgcobo Jiba allegedly led a campaign to discredit and embarrass former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana after he was appointed head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2013.

Jiba, who acted as NDPP before former president Jacob Zuma appointed Nxasana to that position, is said to have ordered officials working at the NPA to "dig up dirt" on Nxasana in a bid to force the president's hand in having him removed - thereby leaving the position vacant for her.

That is according to Nxasana, who was testifying at the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

He said that soon after he was appointed, he heard from people in his hometown in KwaZulu-Natal that there were police officers going around asking about him, his history and his involvement in a murder dating back to 1985.

"This thing gained momentum until I got into office. I then learnt there were members in the NPA responsible for that. I received an unsolicited statement in the form of an affidavit from one member of the NPA, Terrence Joubert, who was a risk specialist in Durban," Nxasana told the commission.

"He sent me an e-mail with an affidavit, where he was basically telling me that there was a campaign by Jiba to dig the dirt about me to embarrass me so that the president will then remove me as NDPP and she would then stand a chance of being considered.

"The affidavit said there were two police members assigned to the DPP in KZN who had received vehicles from the police's provincial office, headed by Mmamonnye Ngobeni, and that those people were tasked with going around finding any dirt about me. He [Joubert] went as far as recording a conversation with Col Queen Mhlongo saying that Jiba had mandated her to go about digging dirt about me."

The recording was not played before the commission because staff had not yet been able to transcribe its contents.

The commission was also approached by legal representatives representing Jiba on Wednesday, forcing its usual lunch break to be extended by about 20 minutes. Vuyani Ngalwana from Jiba's legal team argued that the commission did not forward to her Rule 3.3 notices and that any evidence related to her should be postponed.

The commission forwards such notices to implicated parties to inform them that allegations are expected to be levelled against them and to give them the opportunity to respond or seek legal representation.

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo ordered that Nxasana's evidence should continue without exposing new information about Jiba that is not already in the public domain.

That evidence will be led when Nxasana next returns to the commission.

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