The senior counsel for axed deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba argued that the decision taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa was unlawful. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency
Cape Town - The senior counsel for axed deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba argued in the Western Cape High Court that the decision taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa was unlawful.

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane also submitted that the Mokgoro Inquiry into the fitness of Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office was unlawful and in defiance of a court order.

Sikhakhane’s argument is based on Judge Billy Mothle’s “Freedom Under Law” judgment on December 2017 in the Gauteng High, setting aside the decision by Shaun Abrahams to discontinue the prosecution against Jiba, as was the decision by the president not to institute inquiries under Section 12 (6)(a) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

Jiba also wants the court to interdict or prohibit the president and the National Director of Public Prosecutions from filling her former position until the finalisation of the review.

“It is clear that the President was not bound by the high court decision and we are seeking an interdict declaring removal of my client as unfair and unlawful. The Mokgoro Inquiry and the decision taken by the President is also in defiance of a court order,” Sikhakhane said.

The sequence of events leading up to Jiba’s dismissal started on August 1, 2018 with a notice of intention against her to be suspended. Jiba submitted on August 10 reasons why she should not be suspended. She was suspended on August 24 and on November 9, the inquiry was announced.

The Mokgoro report was submitted to the president on March 9, 2019 and on April 24 Jiba was asked make submission why the findings should not be implemented. She made submission on April 18 and on April 25, the president axed her on May 13.

However, on July 25 Parliament, in its oversight duty, requested Jiba to make a written application. Parliament now has to look at whether the president’s decion was indeed correct and whether to restore Jiba in her position.

Judge Robert Henney said the president had to be interdicted when he took a decision on Jiba. Henney also questioned why Jiba waited for the whole process to unfold to file an application in court. He told the defence that Jiba could have stopped when action was initiated against her.

Counsel for the president argued that the Jiba’s application is prematurely and should be dismissed pending the outcome of the Parliament review.

Judgment has been reserved.

@TheCapeArgus

[email protected]

Cape Argus