Sunday, August 17, 2014

NPA official’s delay raises eyebrows

August 17 2014 at 09:51am

Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - Questions have arisen regarding the qualifications of a senior National Prosecuting Authority official, Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba, after it emerged that she may not be admitted as an advocate.

The questions, from within the NPA, came after Jiba failed to submit, along with other top officials, certified copies of their qualifications, as well as evidence of their admission as advocates.

Sources told the Sunday Independent that Jiba had failed for three months to supply the required documentation. Officials conducting the probe had also been unable to find her name on any of the high court rolls.

One source said that, if Jiba had been admitted in a court of law, all she had to do was to state when and where she was admitted, as well as provide a copy of the high court order that resulted in her admission.

The Sunday Independent understands that the advocates roll is currently incomplete, so it is not clear if the absence of Jiba’s name from the roll is a mistake on the part of the Department of Justice or if she is not an admitted advocate.

Jiba failed to answer questions repeatedly put to her by The Sunday Independent. SMSes were sent and telephone calls were made to her for the past seven days.

When she was contacted for a comment this week, she said: “I’m in a meeting,” before hanging up.

The Sunday Independent questions to Jiba were:

* When were you admitted as an advocate?

* Were you admitted by a court as an advocate or by the bar? If so, which court or bar?

* When was your certificate of admission as an advocate issued?

NPA spokesman Nathi Mncube said Jiba held an LLB degree, but had been unable to furnish the NPA with her certificate of admission as an advocate.

Mncube confirmed the NPA had recently requested all the top NPA managers “to supply us with their qualifications, as well their admission certificates”.

He would not be drawn on when the instruction was issued.

The senior managers were also asked to submit their qualifications.

On Saturday, Department of Justice spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said an auditing process was under way to ensure the names of all the NPA advocates were on the roll. He said the auditing process was expected to be completed in March next year.

He said that, where there was uncertainty about whether the person was an admitted advocate, the registrars of all the high courts would be able to provide the information.

He said the names of the advocates used to be kept manually in a book, but around early 2000 the department introduced an electronic system that crashed in 2003.

Jiba’s official CV, as it appears on the NPA’s website, says she is an admitted advocate of the high court. However, it does not indicate in which year she was admitted as an advocate.

Jiba’s CV says she completed a BJuris in 1987 and an LLB in 1989 at Walter Sisulu University, which was then known as the University of the Transkei. In 1996, she obtained an LLM in commercial law.

Her professional career started in 1988 in Peddie, in the Eastern Cape, where she worked as a prosecutor in a magistrate’s court.

In 1997, she resigned from government employment and began her articles of clerkship to qualify as an attorney with the firm Qunta Ntsebeza in Cape Town. She was admitted as an attorney in 1998.

In 1999, she joined the then Investigating Directorate for Serious Economic Offences (Idseo) in Pretoria as a senior state advocate.

When Idseo was disbanded and the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) was formed, she was made deputy director of public prosecutions.

When contacted for comment, the former executive manager of the NPA’s Integrity Management Unit, Prince Mokotedi, defended Jiba, saying this was a smear campaign against her.

He said this was part of the ongoing faction fighting in the NPA.

In a separate matter, the NPA lodged charges of misconduct and perjury against Jiba, head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit Lawrence Mrwebi and North Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions Sibongile Mzinyathi with the Pretoria Bar Council.

Sunday Independent

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Judge concerned about delays in starting NPA investigation
Sapa | 14 August, 2014 08:39

Former Constitutional Court Judge Zac Yacoob. File photo
Image by: Moeletsi Mabe
Retired judge Zak Yacoob on Thursday expressed concern about a delay in getting documents from the NPA so that he could begin his investigation into media leaks at the prosecuting authority, according to a report.

Click here
SAfm reported that Yacoob told the broadcaster the National Prosecuting Authority was meant to deliver documents to him within 48 hours but there was a delay.

According to the broadcaster, Yacoob doubted he could meet the three-month deadline in which to complete his investigation.

"It's getting less and less feasible because I said three months 12 days ago, and 12 days have been lost already because in those 12 days we haven't got the documents yet," he told SAfm.

"So as time goes on the three months time limit becomes less and less doable and the problem is if I can't finish by the middle of October, I can start on this again only at the beginning of December, that's the problem."

In a statement at the end of July, the NPA said it had appointed Yacoob chairman of a fact finding committee to investigate allegations of the involvement of NPA employees in leaking information to the media and other parties.

The commission was authorised to enter any building occupied by any NPA employee, inspect and seize any documents, records and books related to the investigation.

In June, NPA integrity management unit (IMU) head Prince Mokotedi was suspended after a document on former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach was leaked to the media. Mokotedi denied leaking it.

A day before his suspension, The Star carried a report on the IMU document which recommended that Breytenbach be criminally charged for corruption, misconduct, conflict of interest, fraud, and racketeering.

In the unit's report, Breytenbach is accused of soliciting a loan of US1 million (about R11m) from businessman Nathan Kirsh, a complainant in two cases she was prosecuting. Breytenbach is also accused of accepting a R6.3m donation from Kirsh through the FW de Klerk Foundation. She left the NPA to join the Democratic Alliance as an MP.

Last week Thursday, Mokotedi resigned after being served with a formal charge sheet. The NPA could not disclose what charges he faced.

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