Johannesburg - Former acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba is gearing up for another lengthy legal battle to challenge her dismissal from the National Prosecuting Authority by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Jiba’s move follows the Constitutional Court’s decision to decline hearing the General Council of the Bar’s (GCB’s) application for leave to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment which overturned an earlier North Gauteng High Court ruling to strike her off the roll of advocates with former special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi.
In a unanimous judgment delivered on Thursday, Justice Chris Jafta dismissed the GCB’s application for leave to appeal against the merits of the case.
“I conclude that the GCB has not established that the matter falls within the jurisdiction of this court. This means that the appeal cannot be entertained,” Justice Jafta said.
He said the majority in the SCA judgment found that no misconduct was established against in the first place and that the issue of dishonesty did not arise at all while with respect to Mrwebi, although the majority found that misconduct was proved it held that he was not dishonest.
According to Justice Jafta, the minority found that the facts had established dishonesty on the part of both Jiba and Mrwebi.
“It may well be that the majority in the SCA here has erroneously interfered with the discretion of the high court. However, this does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance. As outlined above, the error here lies in the factual assessment. A decision that is based on wrong facts does not amount to an arguable point of law. The enquiry that is undertaken to correct it remains factual,” reads Justice Jafta’s judgment.
Speaking at the apex court in Braamfontein, Jiba’s lawyer Zola Majavu said his client was vindicated and was preparing for another lengthy court battle to review and set aside the findings of the board of inquiry headed by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro that recommended that she and Mrwebi be fired by Ramaphosa in April.
Majavu said Jiba will approach the high court and would most likely head to the SCA and then the Constitutional Court to review Justice Mokgoro’s findings, which still need to be finalised by the National Assembly.
According to Majavu, his client's matter would most likely be in court for at least the next three years.