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Judge lays into Jiba, Mrwebi over conduct

The pair were struck from the roll in September last year for their handling of the fraud and corruption cause against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

FILE: Former deputy NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - While advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi have been allowed to appeal a ruling striking them from the roll of advocates, a High Court judge has again been scathing of their conduct which led to their disbarment.

The pair were struck from the roll in September last year for their handling of the fraud and corruption cause against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

The High Court in Pretoria on Monday ruled that the matter may be appealed, but the two judges who heard it disagreed on the ruling.

Judge Wendy Hughes ruled that another court may find that Jiba and Mrwebi were executing their mandate and exercising their duties as public servants, which may afford them prosecutorial immunity.

Judge Francis Legodi disagreed, saying the withdrawal of the fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli and the failure by Jiba to review it did not provide the pair with protection under the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

He says prosecutorial immunity finds no application when one offends the rule of law and the Constitution and when one does not act in good faith.

Legodi adds their attempts to plead ignorance, uncertainty on legal issues and shifting blame all point to unprofessional conduct.

In terms of the law, where there are conflicting judgments, the matter must be referred to appeal.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)