'I was targeted because I'm black and a woman': Nomgcobo Jiba

Former deputy national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba will now challenge the findings of the Mokgoro inquiry which recommended to President Cyril Ramaphosa that she be dismissed.
Former deputy national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba will now challenge the findings of the Mokgoro inquiry which recommended to President Cyril Ramaphosa that she be dismissed.
Image: Antonio Muchave

Former deputy national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba said she was targeted by her professional body because of her race and gender.

Jiba expressed these feelings to her attorney, Zola Majavu, following Thursday’s Constitutional Court judgment that kept her and former senior NPA official Lawrence Mrwebi on the roll of advocates.

The Constitutional Court dismissed an appeal by the General Council of the Bar (GCB) to have them struck off the roll.

The GCB had sought to appeal an order of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which held that Jiba’s name should remain on the roll of advocates.

The SCA also held that although the GCB had established misconduct on the part of Mrwebi, the sanction should not have been to strike his name off the roll of advocates. It ordered that Mrwebi be suspended from practice for six months.

The SCA had overturned an earlier high court ruling that Jiba and Mrwebi be struck off the roll of advocates.

Jiba and Mrwebi were fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April this year following the Mokgoro inquiry, which found they were not suitable to hold office in the NPA.

Majavu said he had instructions to challenge the findings of the inquiry, which recommended that Jiba be dismissed as deputy NDPP.

Majavu said her review would be lodged with the high court and, depending on the outcome, would probably end in the Supreme Court of Appeal and, ultimately, in the Constitutional Court.

Majavu said Jiba felt she had been treated unfairly.

"She feels that some cows are holier than others. She feels she is being targeted because she is black and female. Those are her feelings and those are my instructions," he said.

Majavu said he found it interesting that organisations such as Freedom Under Law, the DA and the bar council had nothing to say about the conduct of another deputy NDPP, Willie Hofmeyr, who himself was criticised in the strongest terms in the Supreme Court of Appeal in a DA versus Jacob Zuma matter.

"The Supreme Court of Appeal found that Mr Hofmeyr, inasmuch as he thought he was promoting the objectives of the NPA, he actually subverted those objectives and achieved the opposite," Majavu said.

He said Hofmeyr, too, was subjected to judicial criticism.

"Was there any inquiry against him? None. Did the professional body … do anything about it, none. Even when we raised it in an open inquiry, nothing happened. We raised that issue and nobody ran with it and I am raising it again today," Majavu said.

In its unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court held that the GCB had not established that the appeal fell within the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction.

The court said the matter did not raise a constitutional issue nor a matter which raised an arguable point of law of general public importance.

"For all these reasons, I conclude that the GCB has not established that the matter falls within the jurisdiction of this court. This means that the appeal cannot be entertained," justice Chris Jafta said in his judgment, which was endorsed by all 10 justices.

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