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President removes NPA Advocates Jiba and Mrwebi from office

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has ended the tenure in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, as recommended by the Mokgoro Enquiry into the fitness of the two officials to hold office.

The President took this action on Thursday, 25 April 2019 after studying the findings and recommendations of the Mokgoro Enquiry and affording Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Adv Jiba and Special Director of Public Prosecutions Adv Mrwebi an opportunity to respond to the outcomes.

The Enquiry – whose full report can be viewed at HERE - centred on criticisms and serious allegations levelled against the two officials in various fora, including Courts of law, which raised critical questions regarding their fitness and propriety to hold office. The Presidency is also publishing the submissions made by Advocates Jiba and Mrwebi in response to the report, as well the President’s letters to the officials notifying them of his decision below.

Mokgoro Enquiry Report
Advocate Jiba submissions on the report
Annexure A - Advocate Jiba submissions
President's letter to Advocate Jiba
Advocate Mrwebi submissions on report
President's letter to Advocate Mrwebi

The enquiry has found that both officials are not fit and proper to hold their respective offices.

At a meeting in Pretoria on 10 April 2019, Judge Yvonne Mokgoro briefed President Ramaphosa on the outcomes of the enquiry, having submitted the report to the President at an earlier date.

The President subsequently shared the report with the implicated officials and invited them to make representations regarding the findings and recommendations.

Following receipt of these representations, the President has informed Advocates Jiba and Mrwebi that their tenure has ended with immediate effect.

President Ramaphosa established the Mokgoro Enquiry in October 2018 and placed Advocates Jiba and Mrwebi on suspension with full pay pending finalisation of the enquiry.

The inquiry was established in terms of Section 12(6) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, which applies directly to Adv. Jiba and read with Section 14(3) applies to Adv. Mrwebi. The legislation sets out the conditions under which the President may provisionally suspend the National Director or a Deputy National Director from office.

The enquiries did not take the form of a judicial enquiry or a commission of enquiry; instead this was an internal process to advise the President on the fitness of the two senior officials to hold high office in the National Prosecuting Authority.

President Ramaphosa has reiterated his appreciation to Judge Mokgoro, Kgomotso Moroka SC and Attorney Thenjiwe Vilakazi for conducting the inquiries into the two senior National Prosecuting Authority officials with the assistance of  evidence leader Nazreen Bawa SC and her team.

The Mokgoro Enquiry concludes its report with the observation, among others, that NPA officials are required to be completely devoted to the rule of law without fail, as the country depends on it.

“As the sole entity constitutionally mandated to prosecute on behalf of the State, in the face of the scourge of crime, the confidence that the public enjoys in the NPA is what prevents individuals from taking the law into their own hands. This confidence underpins the social contract. It lies in the belief that the State can offer protection where laws are not respected.”

In compliance with Section 12(6) of the NPA Act, the President will furnish Parliament with documentation comprising his decision as communicated to Advs Jiba and Mrwebi; the report of the enquiry which serves as the basis for the President’s decision and the submissions made by both advocates in response to the report.

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency