The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to institute enquiries into the fitness of Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office.
Although the Supreme Court of Appeal in July overturned an earlier decision by the High Court to strike the pair from the roll of advocates, the DA has always maintained that they are not fit and proper persons to occupy office. The pair were appointed and promoted to their exalted positions under the disastrous tenure of now disgraced former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shaun Abrahams.
Together, Jiba and Mrwebi played integral roles in the capture of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Amongst other things, this capture saw President Jacob Zuma’s prosecution on corruption charges delayed by almost a decade while he, his family, and his associates were allowed to plunder the national coffers with impunity.
If there is any hope for the revival of a near-terminally ill NPA, it is imperative that that Jiba and Mrwebi be excised, like a cancer, from the body. Whether it is too late to save the patient, only time will tell.
The DA looks forward to studying the terms of reference that will be drafted for the enquiry and trust that the process will continue apace. South Africans deserve a criminal justice system that is independent, just, and effective. Jiba and Mrwebi are relics from a dark chapter in the institution’s history and the sooner they leave the better it will be for all.