‘Jiba acted improperly on prosecution of KZN officers’

Jiba is expected to go on trial for her role in the failed prosecution of KZN Hawks head Andre Booysens.

FILE: Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - New court papers filed against deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba have revealed that the former investigating officer in her perjury case has provided evidence to show she acted improperly when authorising the prosecution of 17 KwaZulu-Natal police officers.

Colonel Boats Botha, who was fired after obtaining a summons for Jiba to appear in court, has submitted an affidavit to members of the so-called Cato Manor Hit Squad who have launched an application in the Durban High Court to have racketeering charges against them dropped.

Jiba is expected to go on trial next month for her role in the failed prosecution of KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Andre Booysens who she also charged with racketeering.

Botha says in an affidavit that memoranda authorising the racketeering charges against 17 Cato Manor officers lacks details of how each of the accused were party to the enterprise.

Establishing that an enterprise exists is a key component when instituting a prosecution in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

As prosecutions boss at the time, she was required to make sure the requirements were met before giving the go-ahead.

However, Botha says the memoranda contains statements relating to the accused collectively, without any specification as what each of the men allegedly did.

This is one of the grounds the officers will argue that Jiba's decision to institute the charge was irrational and should be set aside when the matter is heard next month.

Meanwhile, members of the so-called Cato Manot death squad have argued that they were charged with racketeering as part of a conspiracy to target their commander.

Booysens won an application last year to have racketeering charges against him set aside that judgment has formed the basis for fraud and perjury charges being brought against Jiba.

The Cato Manor officers argue that racketeering was introduced as a legal mechanism to prosecute Booysens because there was no direct evidence linking him to the other charges they are facing.

The officers face a range of charges, including murder, assault and kidnapping, which they say they are willing to defend in court.

They argue that it took their legal team six weeks to study the information in the 23 dockets but it took Jiba just a day after receiving the documents to decide to charge them, which they say is an impossible task.

Booysens was responsible for several high-profile cases at the time, including a corruption case against politically-connected businessman Thoshen Panday, who also has links to the police provincial commissioner Mmamonye Ngobeni.