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Johannesburg - National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mxolisi Nxa- sana says he will fight to the bitter end to keep his job and has accused his deputy Nomgcobo Jiba of engineering a plot to oust him.
In an interview with The Sunday Independent yesterday, Nxa- sana also revealed that former justice minister Jeff Radebe had tried to force him to resign before.
Nxasana said Radebe and his director-general Nonkululeko Sindane had first made contact with him before the Easter weekend at the beginning of April.
However, the meeting was cancelled at the last minute – and a second meeting was called days before Radebe was deployed to the Presidency.
Radebe’s spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said the minister would not be commenting on the matter as it was now being handled by new Justice Minister Michael Masutha.
Nxasana has come out guns blazing, accusing Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi of a plot to have him fired by President Jacob Zuma.
Mrwebi is the Special Director of Public Prosecutions, and the head of the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit.
The embattled prosecutions boss, who was last week asked to resign by Radebe after failing a security clearance due to an undisclosed murder charge, claims he has affidavits proving that Jiba and Mrwebi have been abusing NPA resources to “dig out dirt about me”.
“I firmly believe it is a conspiracy. I also question the timing of all this. I refuse to resign. I am a fit and proper person. I stand by my decision. I’m not going to step down. I am going to fight this all the way,” said Nxasana.
He alleged that Jiba had sanctioned people in KwaZulu-Natal to “find dirt” on him with the intention of bringing the information to the attention of the president to find that his appointment was irregular so that Jiba could be appointed.
He had collected affidavits to this effect and has since removed Jiba’s accomplice – a former Scorpions member who was transferred to the authority’s missing persons unit.
“We are aware that people are being manipulated by Jiba and Mrwebi to do things they want. The (authority’s Integrity Management) unit has been working with members of the police and crime intelligence units,” said Nxasana.
Jiba yesterday said she would not “stoop to that level in this matter”.
Mrwebi said he was shocked by Nxasana’s allegations, and that he was not aware there were factions in the NPA.
“It’s a figment of his imagination. Honestly, I do not know where this is coming from,” said Mrwebi.
Nxasana’s woes began shortly after his foray into the NPA on September 1 last year.
Sources in the authority say that Jiba, who had been acting up until his appointment, had been promised the appointment.
However, at the eleventh hour Zuma appointed Nxasana.
Jiba had been appointed as a deputy national director of public prosecutions in January 2011 and became the acting head in December 2011 after the Supreme Court of Appeal found Zuma’s appointment of Advocate Menzi Simelane was irregular.
Last year, a month after he had been appointed by Zuma, The Sunday Independent revealed that Nxasana did not have the top secret security clearance.
Earlier this week it emerged that nine months after being appointed, Nxasana still did not have clearance.
But there is apparently more to the rift between Nxasana and Jiba.
Earlier this year Nxasana allegedly angered Jiba when he withdrew an appeal lodged on her behalf in the judgment around KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen.
Booysen, who was head of the now-disbanded Cato Manor serious and violent crimes unit, is facing racketeering charges.
The court found that Jiba 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 defeaning silence from Jiba against Booysen’s “assertions of mendacity, to which the court was entitled to draw an inference adverse to the NDPP”, said the judgment.
NPA sources said that Jiba had wanted to appeal the matter because her integrity was criticised – but when Nxasana found out about the appeal, he withdrew it.
Nxasana has received flak for not laying criminal charges against former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach after an investigation by the Integrity Management Unit found her guilty of fraud and corruption and internal misconduct for flouting several internal codes and several acts.
Asked if he would take action against Jiba and Mrwebi for being found to have lied under oath, he said: “People are aware of the fact that they have been declared by the court to have lied under oath. The people who appointed them must take interest in this.”
Three sources within the NPA this week said that none of Nxasana’s four deputies, nor his chief executive officer and deputy chief executive, had security clearance.
It was not essential for a prosecutor to have clearance to handle cases, the sources said.
Top secret documents contained in a docket could be handled by any prosecutor.
While Nxasana said he had no knowledge of the rest of his executive committee, he had heard that Jiba did not have the clearance.
Aside from the alleged murder, there are also allegations that he was arrested last September for reckless driving and resisting arrest; fined R2 000 in 2002; and suspended for three years by the KZN Law Society for misconduct involving a Road Accident Fund matter he had not taken to court on time.
Yesterday Nxasana confirmed that the Law Society matter was a disciplinary matter for which he received a R2 000 fine for his failure to lodge a claim against the Minister of Police timeously but the reckless driving charge was “rubbish”.
Allegations that he had been involved in two other murders were also “rubbish”.
One source within the NPA said that the security clearance matter had been brought up because Nxa- sana had been unwilling to manipulate cases.
But Nxasana would not comment on these allegations aside from alleging that Jiba and her allies had spread rumours that he wanted to re-institute charges against the president and KwaZulu-Natal MECs.
“In all respects to Jiba and others I don’t want to make assumptions and cast aspersions on them,” he said.
Nxasana and Jiba, according to NPA sources, have come to blows on several cases.
With the case of suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, Jiba and her associates had wanted him to take the ruling from the Supreme Court of Appeal to the Constitutional Court.
He however refused.
There is now unhappiness at his attempt to reinstate the fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli
. - The Sunday Independent