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Jiba, Mrwebi protected by Zuma - Freedom Under Law

FUL counsel advocate Max du Plessis said there are adverse findings against advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi dating back to 2013.

A screenshot image of Freedom Under Law counsel advocate Max du Plessis testifying at the Mokgoro Inquiry on 28 February 2019.  Picture: SABCNews/Youtube

PRETORIA - Rights group Freedom Under Law (FUL) said advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi were protected by former President Jacob Zuma despite an avalanche of adverse judicial findings made against them.

The organisation made the submission at the Mokgoro Inquiry in Centurion on Thursday.

For more than a month the inquiry has heard evidence related to the advocates' fitness to hold office.

FUL counsel advocate Max du Plessis said there are adverse findings against Jiba and Mrwebi dating back to 2013.

“The point is, there are a number of judgements that are going back all the way to six years ago where they have become public knowledge and the impression that they are creating in the perception of the public is that the continuation of their offices will be a taint to the office.”

He said the only reason they remained in office is that they were protected.

“…And it’s not just one judgement, but an avalanche with respect to judicial criticism. The fact that they were protected during that time by President Zuma and Mr Abrahams despite those findings simply highlights the reputational damage that is being done to their offices.”

Meanwhile, Jiba’s counsel Advocate Norman Arendse said the narrative goes, that good people like Johan Booysen and Robert McBride were targeted by the National Prosecuting Authority under his client’s watch.

“What one can only describe as a conspiracy theory. If you have a conspiracy theory you must prove it. So, Miss Jiba and others like Mr Mrwebi are paraded as the bad guys along with our former president and these names were just dropped liberally in the course of evidence.”

Arendse said the inquiry was established because of a false public narrative.

He says there is simply insufficient evidence to conclude that Jiba is not fit or proper to hold office.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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