Ramaphosa also issued a similar notice to special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi and gave them until next Friday to make submissions on why they should not be suspended pending the inquiries.
Jiba’s lawyer Zola Majavu confirmed that his client received Ramaphosa’s letter in which he signalled his intentions to institute the inquiries and suspend her.
“We hold instructions to accede to the request to make the submissions by August 10 on behalf of advocate Jiba. Once done, we will await the president’s response and take it from there,” he said.
Last month, Majavu told Independent Media that calls for Ramaphosa to institute disciplinary action against Jiba were misplaced because the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, which ordered she be struck off the roll of advocates, sat as a disciplinary hearing and its decision had been overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
However, on Wednesday Majavu said Jiba would not be commenting on her looming suspension and the inquiry, beyond making submissions to Ramaphosa.
“She respects the president’s decision and the rule of law,” he added.
In his letters to Jiba and Mrwebi, Ramaphosa said: “I cannot underscore the importance of the public’s trust in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its most senior management. It is a constitutional institution that is central to the proper administration of justice.”
He added that “doubt about the fitness and integrity of anyone in so senior a position as you hold jeopardises this trust and the ability of the NPA as a whole”.
According to Ramaphosa, the allegations made in various judgments have been in the public domain for many years now, and despite the litigation at issue not reaching conclusion, the pronouncements by these various members of the judiciary have tainted the image of the NPA and will continue to do so until fully ventilated and addressed.
Ramaphosa’s move follows the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria’s December judgment reviewing and setting aside the decision taken by Jiba’s boss Shaun Abrahams to discontinue her prosecution for charging former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen with racketeering based on untrue statements.
Former president Jacob Zuma’s decision not to act in terms of the NPA Act and suspend Jiba and Mrwebi pending inquiries into their fitness to hold their respective offices and to institute such inquiries was also reviewed and set aside.
Mrwebi’s lawyer Amos Vilakazi was not available for comment.