President might intervene in Nomgcobo Jiba matter

Over the last few months, Jiba has been strongly criticised in two separate Supreme Court of Appeal judgments.

FILE: Deputy National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The presidency said it's in consultation with the Justice Ministry about whether President Jacob Zuma needs to intervene in the situation regarding deputy National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Nomgcobo Jiba.

Over the last 18 months, Jiba has been strongly criticised in two separate Supreme Court of Appeal judgments relating to her conduct in the Zuma 'spy tapes' case and in her decision to withdraw criminal charges against former police crime intelligence chief Richard Mdluli.

She is currently facing perjury charges relating to another case, where charges were lodged against the Kwazulu-Natal head of the Hawks before an affidavit against him was actually deposed.

Under the NPA Act, only Zuma can suspend or remove Jiba.

But despite the strong criticisms from various courts, an application by the General Council of the Bar of South Africa to remove her from her role as advocate and a request to suspend her from NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana, Zuma has taken no action.

Eyewitness News sent a specific question to the presidency, asking if Zuma was planning on taking action or if he was satisfied with her performance.

In its response, the presidency said it's aware of the judgments and, in consultation with the minister of justice, is giving consideration thereto, in order to determine whether any interventions are permissible and/or warranted.

It goes on to say, uppermost, the interventions of the president will be determined by a need to safeguard and preserve the integrity and independence of the NPA.

PRESIDENCY AWARE OF VARIOUS JUDGMENTS AGAINST JIBA

The presidency says it is aware of the various judgments and judicial criticism levelled against Jiba and is considering whether an intervention is needed.

President Zuma has taken no action against Jiba despite the fact that that law says only he can suspend or remove her from her post.

Eyewitness News then asked the presidency whether Zuma was going to act or whether he was actually satisfied with her performance in the post.

In its formal response, the presidency says it is aware that the general council of the bar has applied to have Jiba removed from the roll of advocates.

It then says the doctrine of the separation of powers allows for exchanges between the judiciary and the executive, none of which detracts from the respective functions, which must be exercised minded, as we all are of due process and the safeguard of individual rights.

Click here to read the full Q&A.