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Former NPA head vindicated by court's decision to disbar Jiba

Mxolisi Nxasana says he is disappointed that the Presidency failed to act when he first raised his concerns.

NPA spokesperson Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mxolisi Nxasana says while he feels vindicated by the decision to strike deputy prosecutions head Nomgcobo Jiba off the roll of advocates, he finds it disappointing that the Presidency and Justice Department failed to act when he first raised his concerns.

During his time as NPA head, Nxasana had made a plea to President Jacob Zuma for Jiba and Specialised Commercial Crimes unit head Lawrence Mrwebi to be suspended for misconduct.

Yesterday, the two were struck off the roll of advocates after they were found to have acted in bad faith by protecting former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli from prosecution on charges of fraud and corruption.

Nxasana has described government's apparent reluctance to intervene as sad.

"The president said that she was advised by the Minister of Justice that there's no jurisprudential evidence that justified the suspension of Nomgcobo Jiba at the time."

LISTEN: Former NPA head Mxolisi Nxsana told Zuma to fire Jiba & Mrwebi

But Justice Minister Michael Masutha says there were processes underway at the time.

"There were other processes that were underway. The then CE of the organisation had requested a retired judge of the Constitutional Court to inquire into this matter."

LISTEN: Minister Michale Masutha on Jiba and Mrwebi struck off the advocates roll

Masutha says he will urgently consult with President Jacob Zuma on the status of Jiba following a scathing High Court judgment against her.

He says he has already met with prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams to discuss the judgment against Jiba.

"We have agreed on a process in the immediate that we'll be following which will include consultation with the parties concerned having looked at aspects of the law that will be most pertinent in this regard."

He says the matter also requires consultations with President Jacob Zuma.

"That will also require urgent consultation with the president, within the specific functions that are entrusted under the Constitution and the law under matters of this nature."

Masutha declined to be drawn on whether it would be in the best interest of the NPA for Jiba to step down pending the conclusion of an appeal.

PRESIDENT UNDER PRESSURE TO ACT

The president is now under pressure to act against the former advocate after the court decision.

Jiba's chequered tenure at the NPA has been marked by one controversy after another, as she's played a central role in the cases involving Jackie Selebi, Gerrie Nel, Glynnis Breytenbach and Johan Booysen.

Breytenbach, a former prosecutor and now Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Justice, says Jiba is not fit and proper to hold office.

She says Zuma must act against her.

"It's really, really so bad for the criminal justice system and what her going will mean, is that prosecutors in the NPA can actually find themselves and get some direction."

Jiba has indicated she will appeal the court's decision to strike her from the roll as an advocate.