Advocate Max du Plessis of Freedom Under Law told the North Gauteng High Court that President Jacob Zuma should institute an inquiry into the fitness of National Prosecuting Authority Advocates Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: Brenda Masilela/ANA

Pretoria – The North Gauteng High Court on Monday, questioned a "premature application" by Freedom Under Law (FUL) to compel President Jacob Zuma to institute an inquiry into the fitness of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Advocates Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba to hold office.

Judge Billy Mothle indicated to FUL's advocate Max du Plessis that a lower court cannot make a decision on a matter which is already at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Du Plessis argued that the application does not intend to confuse the court or seek a ruling that will undermine the SCA, but to hold Zuma accountable to his duties.

"The president failed to act on a binding judgment even before the appeal," du Plessis said.

In September last year‚ Jiba and special director of public prosecutions Mrwebi were struck off the roll of advocates.

In February‚ Zuma decided not to suspend Jiba and Mrwebi‚ or to institute an inquiry into their conduct.

Advocate Hilton Epstein for Zuma argued that FUL's application was premature. Picture: Brenda Masilela/ANA

At the time, Zuma said having considered that the high court has granted Jiba and Mrwebi leave to appeal against an order striking them off the roll of advocates‚ he decided not to suspend them pending finalisation of the appeal process.

FUL wants the court to declare Zuma's failure to institute an inquiry into the conduct of Jiba and Mrwebi as unlawful and to direct the president to institute such an inquiry

Du Plessis said Zuma is the only one who can make sure that people occupying the NPA offices are of good standing.

"We came to on decisions which were made at the time, the president should have acted then and failed to do so," he said.

Jiba and Mrwebi were struck of the roll in connection their conduct in several cases. These include the decision to drop charges against suspended head of police crime intelligence Richard Mdluli.

The matter continues.