Parliament gives embattled Nomgcobo Jiba seven days to make representation
Cape Town - Parliamentary committees on Tuesday decided to forge ahead with a process to decide on whether or not to reinstate advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi.
In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa decided to remove Jiba and Mrwebi from their positions as deputy national director of public prosecutions and special director public prosecutions respectively.
This comes after retired Judge of the Constitutional Court Yvonne Mokgoro found the pair not fit to hold office.
When Parliament asked the pair to make representations, Jiba did not make her representation and instead asked to be reinstated with her full benefits. However, her application was dismissed.
Briefing the justice and correctional services portfolio committee, parliamentary legal advisor Siviwe Njikela said there was no legal impediment preventing the national legislature from proceeding with its process.
"Even if an appeal is filed, there is no interdict," Njikela said.
He advised the committee to consider providing additional days to make a representation for purposes of fairness of the process.
DA MP Werner Horn said the court was clear in its ruling that there was a specific duty from Parliament to act in an expeditious manner on the matter.
"We started the process and therefore it must be concluded," Horn said, adding that Jiba should be afforded a final opportunity to make representation.
ANC MP Hishaam Mohamed said they had reflected on fairness when they did not oppose her application. "We must take the matter to the next step ," Mohamed said.
ANC MP Jacqui Mofokeng said Jiba was given time and opportunity.
"If she had thought about it, she would have made a submission even if she wanted to go to court," Mofokeng said. "There is no interdict that stops us from going on. We need to move further."
ACDP's Steve Swart agreed that there nothing legally preventing Parliament from going ahead with its process.
"I would like to be on the side of caution and give her a final chance," Swart added.
Njikela said providing Jiba with additional time would enhance the fairness of the process Parliament was to undertake.
Committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe pointed it out that the matter needed to be concluded before December 4 and that she must be given 10 days to respond.
Mofokeng said Jiba should instead be given seven days.
"That is what we can say is fairness. We have to be strict that this is a last chance and we can't give her another opportunity," she said.
Magwanishe said they would grant her a final opportunity and after getting on the parliamentary process.
"So it is seven working days. After seven working days, we start with the deliberations," he said.
The select committee on security and justice also agreed to grant Jiba seven days to make her representation.
"We would allow Ms Jiba seven days to make representation to the committee and following that we take the process forward," chairperson Shahidabibi Shaikh said.
This was after the committee deliberated after it received legal advice that there was nothing in law that prevented Parliament from proceeding after Jiba failed to obtain an interdict.