Axed Nomgcobo Jiba given seven days
Cape Town - Axed deputy national director of public prosecutions advocate Nomgcobo Jiba was on Tuesday given a final opportunity to make written representation to a parliamentary process that will decide on whether or not to reinstate her and fellow advocate Lawrence Mrwebi to their positions.
MPs decided to grant her seven days after they received legal advice in separate meetings of the justice and correctional services committee as well a select committee on security and justice.
In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa decided to remove Jiba and Mrwebi from their positions as deputy national director of public prosecutions and special director of public prosecutions respectively.
This came after retired judge of the Constitutional Court Yvonne Mokgoro found the pair not fit to hold office.
When Parliament asked the pair to make representations, Jiba asked the court to set aside Ramaphosa’s decision, but the application was dismissed in a ruling released two weeks ago.
Briefing the committee, parliamentary legal adviser Siviwe Njikela said there was no legal impediment that prevented Parliament from proceeding with its process.
Njikela said they had indications that an appeal could be coming, which was odd, as interim orders were ordinarily not appealable.
“In as far as we understand the issues, there is no legal impediment to the committee proceeding. There may be an appeal, but the ordinary principle in litigation is that if there is an order, that order is suspended pending the appeal,” he said.
He went further to say: “The difference is that she does not have an order in her favour. There is no court order which directed Parliament not to proceed.”
DA MP Werner Horn said the started process should be concluded, and asked that Jiba be given a final opportunity to make her representation. “I believe we still have a duty to afford her a final opportunity to make representation. The applicant can’t frustrate our constitutional duty in dealing with it in an expeditious manner,” Horn said.
The ACDP’s Steve Swart said there was nothing legally preventing them from forging ahead. “I would like to be on the side of caution and give her a final chance,” Swart said.
ANC’s Hishaam Mahomed said they should take the matter to the next step, and committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe pointed out that the matter needed to be concluded before Parliament rose on December 4.