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Casac: Mokgoro report's findings a positive step in NPA rehabilitation process

Retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro has recommended advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi be fired, because they are neither fit nor proper to hold their positions.

Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba at the Mokgoro inquiry on 21 February. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

PRETORIA - The findings and recommendations of the Mokgoro Commission report are seen as an opportunity to clean up the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

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

The pair have filed representations with the president and still face an application by the General Council of the Bar of SA to strike them from the roll of advocates.

Casac’s Lawson Naidoo said that these findings against senior NPA officials is a positive step and is part of a longer process.

“We’ve had some changes at the top and now further changes will take place. The process of rehabilitating the NPA will be ongoing and it’s going to be a long one.”

Former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach said that it is relatively simple to ensure that a situation like this does not repeat itself.

“As the prosecuting authority you must always be aware that it’s independent, answers to no one but the Constitution and the court. They must uphold the rule of law and the constitutional values set out for them. If they do that this won’t happen again.”

It’s unclear when President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce his decision on the recommendations of the report.

While the Mokgoro Commission Report has been roundly welcomed, government and the national prosecuting authority has been urged never to allow a situation like this to arise again.

The Helen Suzman Foundation’s Anton Van Dalsen said that the report reveals the degree of political interference in the NPA over the last decade.

“There were red lights flashing all over and one can only make the assumption that there was a large degree of political interference. I think this is the big danger and must be guarded against.”

Freedom Under Law’s Nicole Fritz said that action should have been taken earlier.

“It took the amount of time it did to get to that commission and to engage with the allegations against these senior prosecutors. The materials that have been engaged with supports the conclusions that they are not fit or proper, and it’s been in the public domain for several years now.”

The NPA said that it has noted reports about the commission's findings but said that it cannot comment at this stage, because this is a process initiated by the president and has not been completed nor made official at this stage.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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