NPA Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba at the Mokgoro inquiry in Centurion.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - Nomgcobo Jiba - suspended national deputy director of public prosecutions - is due to lodge a fight to prevent one of her fellow prosecutors, who had earlier charged her with fraud and perjury, not to testify before the Mokgoro Enquiry.

On Wednesday, Jiba’s legal counsel Adv Thabani Masuku SC asked the Mokgoro inquiry, which is probing the fitness of Jiba and Adv Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office in the NPA, not to allow Adv Jan Ferreira to testify against Jiba.

In 2015, Jiba was charged with fraud and perjury following her decision to charge former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen with racketeering - a decision which was dismissed by the Durban High Court.

Due to the outcome of the High Court, a decision was taken to charge Jiba with fraud and perjury. Jiba was due to go on trial on August 19, 2015 but the then National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shaun Abrahams, decided to drop the charges on the eve of the trial.

In December 2017, the High Court in Pretoria overturned Abrahams’ decision and ordered the reinstatement of the charges against her.

The court also then order former president Jacob Zuma to conduct an inquiry into the fitness of Jiba and Mrwebi to hold office in the NPA but Zuma failed to do so. 

A few months later, the NPA indicated their intention to appeal the ruling but has since October last year, withdrawn their appeal application.

On Wednesday, the pending charges against Jiba prompted her legal team to argue before retired Constitutional Court Judge Thabani Masuku if would wrong for the inquiry to hear the evidence of Ferreira, saying it would impact on client’s rights to a fair trial if charges were to be reinstated against her.

Ferreira was the lead prosecutor when the charges were preferred against Jiba in August 2015. 

Adv Masuku argued that it was likely that he could be reappointed to the same post.

Addressing the Judge and her panelist, Masuku said: “I do not want his evidence to pollute you”.

Due to that application, Judge Mokgoro ordered the two parties to provide her with head arguments on the impact Ferreira’s testimony would infringe or not Jiba’s right to a fair trial.

Judge Mokgoro is expecting the heads of arguments on Thursday morning before she could pass her verdict on the matter.

Hearings continue.

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