CAPE TOWN - The decision to reinstate perjury charges against former acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba for lying under oath is welcome but long overdue, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
"This is long overdue. It is in the interests of justice and accountability to prosecute Ms Jiba for her total disregard for the rule of law, and her gross abuse of power while occupying that position," DA shadow minister of justice and correctional services Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement.
This was good news for South Africa, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and the criminal justice system as a whole. Jiba's flagrant disregard for her oath of office had to be visited with severe consequences. Prosecuting was an honourable profession and prosecutors should always conduct themselves in line with their oath, Breytenbach said.
Jiba was supposed to have gone to trial 2015 for allegedly lying under oath in the former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen matter, but shortly after he was appointed as NDPP, Shaun Abrahams, "and or [former regional head of the specialised commercial crimes unit] Marshall Mokgathle", put a stop to the case and promoted Jiba instead, she said.
Three Pretoria High Court judges ruled against a decision by Abrahams to drop the charges against Jiba, obliging the NPA to reinstate the case.
Based on statements by among others Jiba, Booysen was wrongfully prosecuted for racketeering. However, Durban High Court Judge Trevor Gorven threw the charges out of court and agreed with Booysen that Jiba had lied.
"To fight corruption, we need to ensure that we transform the NPA into the bastion it once was, and also hold to account those who are still there, enjoying all the perks of well-remunerated employment, who ignored their constitutional duties and actively contributed to the capture of the NPA. This is a first step. There is still much work to be done," Breytenbach said.
According to media reports, Jiba will be charged with fraud and perjury for allegedly lying under oath about evidence against Booysen.
- African News Agency