Jiba welcomes opportunity to give her side of the story - lawyer

Deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba has welcomed the opportunity she has been given to give her side of the story after President Cyril Ramaphosa said he intends to institute an inquiry into her fitness to hold office, her lawyer said on Thursday.

Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that he informed Jiba and her colleague, Lawrence Mrwebi, of his decision.

"We will abide by the deadline set by the president in terms of making her submissions," Zola Majavu told News24.

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with what the president is doing (giving Jiba an opportunity to make representations). He is simply doing what the court has instructed. Until the president has made his decision, upon receipt of our submission, there will be no commentary on the matter," Majavu said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Presidency said Ramaphosa had invited Jiba and Mrwebi to make submissions by August 10 to say why they should not be suspended pending the inquiry.

READ:Jiba and Mrwebi to face inquiries - Presidency

"I cannot underscore the importance of the public's trust in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its most senior management. It is a constitutional institution that is central to the proper administration of justice. Doubt about the fitness and integrity of anyone in so senior a position as you hold, jeopardises this trust and the ability of the NPA as a whole," Ramaphosa said in letters to both advocates. 

"The allegations made in these various judgments have been in the public domain for many years now and despite the litigation at issue not reaching conclusion, the pronouncements by these various members of the judiciary have negatively tainted the image of the NPA and will continue to do so until fully ventilated and addressed," he said.

The inquiries will be established in terms of Section 12(6) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

In July, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a ruling of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that Jiba and Mrwebi be struck from the roll of advocates.

The General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB) filed papers in the Constitutional Court on Tuesday for leave to appeal the SCA ruling.

In the papers, chairperson of the GCB advocate Craig Watt-Pringle SC said he believed there were "reasonable prospects of success in an appeal".

He said four judges had found that striking off orders should be made in the circumstances of the case and three disagreed.

"The application by the General Council of the Bar of South Africa is to request the court by the custos morum (ethical standards) of the profession to use its disciplinary power over an officer of the court who has misconducted him or herself."

Majavu told News24 on Thursday that he had received the GCB's papers and was instructed to oppose the matter. 

He said they were drafting opposing papers.