Willie Hofmeyr, the former head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit. File picture: Alon Skuy
Pretoria - Former Assets Forfeiture Unit head Willie Hofmeyr is set to be cross-examined by the legal counsel for suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba, after he accused her of abusing prosecutorial powers to advance political agendas.

Jiba’s counsel successfully petitioned the Mokgoro Inquiry to allow it to cross-examine Hofmeyr on the contents of an affidavit he deposed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in March 2015.

Jiba made the request after Hofmeyr made damning allegations against her before the inquiry, led by retired Constitutional Court Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, probing her fitness, along with that of Commercial Crime Unit head advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, to hold office in the NPA.

In evidence, Hofmeyr said the NPA had since 2011, after the appointment of Jiba as acting head, experienced abuse of prosecutorial powers to advance political agendas, saying it had been one of the issues that impacted most severely on the perceptions of and public confidence in the NPA. “The NPA should never be seen as an extension of any political party, or to give effect to its agenda.

“Even more dangerously, in a number of prosecutions the NPA has essentially been perceived to be acting on behalf of a faction of the ruling party, such as the prosecutions of those who were opposed to the majority grouping in the ruling party at the time. An example is the prosecution of (Pravin) Gordhan.”

Jiba asked Judge Mokgoro to allow the cross-examination of Hofmeyr on the Zuma matter, saying it would bring the credibility and trustworthiness of ­Hofmeyr into doubt.

Mokgoro granted Jiba permission to grill Hofmeyr, who through his counsel, advocate Annade Theart, tried to block the request, saying the scope of the inquiry was to focus on the fitness of Jiba and Mrwebi to hold office.

Cape Argus