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NPA wants own top officials probed

Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has made a recommendation to Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha to hold a commission of inquiry into the fitness to hold office of Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba, head of Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit Lawrence Mrwebi, and Director of Public Prosecutions (North Gauteng) Sibongile Mzinyathi.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha. Credit: GCIS

On Saturday, NPA spokesman Nathi Mncube said a charge of perjury and complaints of misconduct have been lodged with the Pretoria Bar Council against Jiba, Mrwebi and Mzinyathi.

“It is based on a legal opinion we received after the remarks in the judgment against (Major-General) Johan Booysen and by Judge (John) Murphy and the Supreme Court of Appeal in respect of advocate Jiba and Mrwebi.”

Booysen, who was head of the now-disbanded Cato Manor serious and violent crimes unit, is facing racketeering charges.

Mncube said the NPA had advised Masutha of the charges and the recommendation that a commission of inquiry into their fitness to hold office should be held.

The NPA was awaiting feedback from Masutha.

It is understood that Masutha would approach President Jacob Zuma with the recommendation but the final decision on whether to hold the commission or not lay with Zuma.

Mrwebi controversially withdrew the fraud and corruption charges against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

In September North Gauteng High Court Judge Murphy found that Mrwebi’s decision was illegal, irrational and based on irrelevant considerations and material errors of law, ultimately so unreasonable that no reasonable prosecutor could have taken it.

In addition, the NPA has decided to lay a charge of perjury and a complaint of misconduct against Jiba after the court found that she had lied about considering four statements before deciding to prosecute Booysen, saying her impugned decision was arbitrary, unconstitutional and invalid.

“She must be taken to know how important it is to ensure that her affidavit is entirely accurate.”

The court said there was a deafening silence from Jiba against Booysen’s “assertions of mendacity, to which the court was entitled to draw an inference adverse to the NDPP”.

However, Mrwebi said he was not aware that a complaint of misconduct and charge of perjury had been laid against him.

“I was at work on Friday and nobody told me anything. I wonder why they did not inform us. Why do they have to go to the media first?”

Jiba said: “I will not engage with desperate individuals who abuse the name of the NPA to peddle false information and lies for self-serving ends.”

Efforts to get comment from Mzinyathi proved fruitless.

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