Johannesburg - The axing of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi will enable the institution to rebuild itself free of ''their corrupt influences'', Freedom Under Law said on Friday.
''Under the leadership of new National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi, the NPA can today begin in earnest a process of rebuilding the institution, free of the corrupting influences of Jiba and Mrwebi. As the Mokgoro report makes clear, not only were Jiba and Mrwebi found unfit to hold office but showed themselves not to have the integrity, conscientiousness and scrupulous honesty required of such senior officials in an institution so important to our constitutional democracy.''
''As is evident from the report and other information publicly disclosed about the workings of the NPA during Jiba and Mrwebi’s time there, they were not the only officials responsible for wrongdoing. But they were central to the wrongdoing and in sidelining, and, in several instances, persecuting those employees within the NPA intent on performing their constitutional operations, Jiba and Mrwebi’s corrupting influence was magnified. Freed of their presence, decent people in the NPA may now get on with their jobs and the tasks required by our Constitution,'' the organisations aid in a statement.
Ramaphosa on Friday fired Jiba and Mrwebi as recommended by retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro who chaired and heard damning evidence against the two state lawyers in February. Earlier this month, having received the final report, Ramaphosa sent it to Jiba and Mrwebi, asking them to respond to the findings in the form of written representations.
In the report, Mokgoro said the NPA Act makes it clear that interference with the work of the prosecutions authority is a crime. She said Jiba and Mrwebi were not fit to hold office and recommended to Ramaphosa that he remove the pair as deputy national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) and special director of public prosecutions, respectively. Their tenure at the NPA was characterised by a failure to diligently exercise their duties, incompetence and lack of integrity while compromising the independence of the NPA, said Mokgoro.