NPA's Advocate Nongcobo Jiba during the Justice Mokgoro's inquiry in Centurion. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - The fight between the former head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, Johan Booysen, and the suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions, Nomgcobo Jiba, is far from over.

Booysen was expected to take on Jiba for her conduct at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) when he testifies at the Mokgoro Commission, headed by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, on Friday.

Jiba and Booysen have been at war since 2012, when he was arrested on allegations of heading the “Cato Manor death squad”.

The commission, instituted by President Cyril Ramaphosa, was investigating Jiba and her colleague advocate Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.

Jiba would have to answer for her conduct into the prosecution of Booysen, who successfully took the prosecution on review, accusing her of lying under oath.

Adding to Jiba’s woes are Constitutional Court documents, which show the General Council of the Bar (GCB) wants Jiba and Mrwebi disbarred.

“We submit that the findings of dishonesty are well-founded, and provide an ample basis justifying and requiring the removal of Jiba and Mrwebi from the roll,” read the heads of argument filed on behalf of the GCB.

The bar further states that Jiba and Mrwebi were wrong to abandon the prosecution of national crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Booysen was expected to set the record straight this week when he appears before the Mokgoro Commission.

However, he said the date for his testimony to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, was yet to be confirmed.

Booysen, who took early retirement in 2017, would, however, not be drawn into commenting about the contents of his testimony.

“I don’t want to pre-empt my evidence at the two commissions of inquiries as it might compromise the proceedings.

“If Agrizzi’s allegations about Jiba are found to be true, it would be shocking. It will then show that Jiba has undermined the NPA and established a parallel prosecuting authority comprising a number of advocates at the NPA at the expense of the rule of law,” said Booysen.

He was referring to the testimony of former chief operations officer of Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, who told the Zondo Commission earlier this week that it gave Jiba a monthly bribe of R100 000.

While Booysen was tight-lipped about his evidence, a source close to him said he would deliver “explosive” testimony at both commissions.

Central to his testimony would be his “unfair” prosecution by the NPA, allegedly at the behest of Jiba, which was based on lies, said a source.

Last year, Booysen called for a probe into the NPA after a weekly newspaper admitted three of its major investigations were based on lies.

This included the so-called Cato Manor death squads which placed Booysen at the centre of wrongdoing. As a result, he was suspended.

He was subsequently arrested along with 27 members of the unit in 2012. Since then, he has been in and out of court.

In 2016, Booysen released his book, titled Blood on their Hands, in which he launched a broadside at the NPA top brass, including Jiba.

In the book, he reflected on the five-year on-again, off-again attempts to prosecute him on allegations of corruption from when he was head of the now-disbanded Cato Manor Serious and Violent Crimes Unit.

Asked about the reputational damage he suffered, Booysen said, “To me, it is not about my image but rather the damage they have caused to the country.”

Jiba’s attorney advocate Zola Majavu believed it had been a good week for Jiba as “none of the witnesses have implicated her” at the Mokgoro Commission.

“All we can say is that we have taken note of those Agrizzi comments. However, for now we are focusing on the current inquiry before Judge Mokgoro. At the appropriate moment, when called upon to attend the Zondo Commission, our client will oblige and deal with the allegations, which she still denies,” said Majavu.

He said they would also apply to cross-examine those who made allegations against his client. - Additional reporting by Loyiso Sidimba

Sunday Tribune