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Parliament may not reopen inquiry into Jiba, Mrwebi - legal adviser

Parliamentary legal adviser Siviwe Njikela said that Parliament’s job was to consider whether President Cyril Ramaphosa acted within the law in axing former NPA officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi.

FILE: Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba at the Mokgoro Inquiry on 21 February 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament is set to consider President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to fire former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi within 30 days – but it may not reopen the inquiry into their fitness to hold office.

That was the thrust of the legal opinion presented to a joint sitting of Parliament’s Justice committees of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday.

Jiba and Mrwebi were sacked on the recommendation of the Mokgoro commission of inquiry which investigated whether the pair were fit and proper persons to serve in the NPA, and concluded that they were not.

Parliamentary legal adviser Siviwe Njikela said that Parliament’s job was to consider whether President Cyril Ramaphosa acted within the law in axing former NPA officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi.

"In the opinion, we make the point that it is not up to Parliament to reopen the hearing – a hearing has happened, and it has resulted in the outcome."

The legal opinion said Parliament’s job was to decide whether Jiba and Mrwebi should be restored to office, after considering the Mokgoro inquiry report and correspondence between Ramaphosa, Jiba and Mrwebi.

A resolution on this must be taken within the next 30 days.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach, who testified against the pair at the inquiry, has recused herself from proceedings, even though she’s not legally bound to do so. She said she wanted to avoid any perception of bias.

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