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Mokgoro inquiry report praised for its credibility

The Mokgoro inquiry has recommended that Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi be removed from office because they are neither fit nor proper to hold their positions.

A screengrab of retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (right) chairing the inquiry into NPA advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office on 21 January 2019.

PRETORIA - The Mokgoro commission report has been welcomed for its findings, but also for the credibility of the process which has been described as transparent and robust.

Retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro has recommended that Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi be removed from office because they are neither fit nor proper to hold their positions.

While the pair have filed representations with President Cyril Ramaphosa, the president has not yet announced how he will respond to the commission’s recommendations.

• Mokgoro inquiry key findings against Jiba and Mrwebi

Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution executive secretary Lawson Naidoo praised the commission and Justice Mokgoro for the manner in which the process was conducted.

“I think they have done a good job, the process was open, transparent, robust, and everyone got an opportunity to make submissions. I think the outcome is all the more credible as a result of how the process was conducted,” Naidoo said.

Nicole Fritz, the executive officer of Freedom Under Law, said the commission’s findings were consistent with the position they had held all along.

“The conduct of Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi has for some time now indicated they are not fit and proper and should not be employed in the NPA, that their presence there taints and corrupts the NPA,” she said.

Jiba’s attorney declined to comment on the contents of the report, saying they were waiting for a response from the president to their representations.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach - who testified at the Mokgoro inquiry - said Jiba and Mrwebi should be criminally charged for their conduct.

“They abused their office and the power of their office. They failed to meet the standards set in the NPA Act [and] ignored the oath to the Constitution. I urge [NPA head] Shamila Batohi to have a good look at that report and to deal with them expeditiously,” she said.

Naidoo said the president still needed to announce how he would respond to the report.

“The president, as we know, is not bound by those findings and recommendations. So, the president would have to deal with that and refer the matter to Parliament, which is the ultimate decision-maker in this matter,” he said.

The NPA said it had noted reports about the commission’s findings but said it could not comment because this was a process initiated by the president and had not been completed or made official at this stage.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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