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NPA’s Mgwebi denies being unfit to be an advocate

He is fighting a claim by the General Council of the Bar that he should be struck from the advocates’ roll.

FILE: Advocate Lawrence Mgwebi says he denies that the NPA has instituted any disciplinary hearings against him in this case. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) commercial crimes head Advocate Lawrence Mgwebi has strongly denied claims he's not a fit and proper person to be an advocate, and says judicial criticism of his conduct is not backed up by the facts.

He is fighting a claim by the General Council of the Bar that he should be struck from the advocates' roll after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) claimed he had not been fully honest in a case relating to his decision to withdraw criminal charges against former Police Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

The Bar is bringing the application after NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana asked it to consider whether Mgwebi should remain an advocate following that ruling.

In his formal response to this application Mgwebi says the facts presented in the case around Mdluli do not support a judgment that he didn't hand in all the relevant documents to the case.

He then says that by parity of reasoning, the judgment by the SCA in the same case is also not supported by facts.

Mgwebi also says that it was the NPA's legal affairs office that really dealt with this case and thus it wasn't his responsibility to make sure all the documents were submitted to the court.

He says he denies that the NPA has instituted any disciplinary hearings against him in relation to this matter.