Jiba forces Parliament to delay hearings
The parliamentary process to confirm or revoke President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to dismiss two senior NPA officials has been delayed for at least a month following an agreement reached in the Western Cape High Court yesterday, says a Business Day report.
The urgent application by former deputy NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba for an interdict to halt the parliamentary process pending the outcome of a court challenge to the decision to remove her (and her colleague, senior NPA official Lawrence Mrwebi) was postponed to 19 September.
Jiba’s attorney Zola Majavu said that all parties agreed in the chambers of Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe that Parliament would not deal with the matter until Jiba’s application was before the court on 19 September.
He agreed that if Jiba is successful in her application to put a hold on the parliamentary process, this process would have to be held in abeyance until her court application to have Ramaphosa’s decision reviewed is finalised. This could take months – or even a year, notes the report.
Parliament’s position is that it will abide by the decision of the court.
However, DA MP James Selfe criticised the delay in Parliament’s dealing with the matter believing that the Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise should have opposed Jiba’s application for an urgent interdict.
Selfe believes that Jiba is employing the same delaying tactics used by former President Jacob Zuma to avoid his day court and that the parliamentary committees should proceed with deliberations on whether she should be restored to her position in the NPA.
In what a News24 report says ‘appears to be a Stalingrad strategy’, Jiba has filed her main application in two parts.
In the first part, she is asking the court to order Ramaphosa and the NDPP to reinstate her to the deputy NDPP position, ‘with all associated employment benefits with immediate effect’. She also wants the court to interdict or prohibit the President and the NDPP from filling the position until the finalisation of the review.
In part B of the application, Jiba wants the court to order that Ramaphosa violated the Constitution and therefore acted unlawfully when he instituted an inquiry in terms of section 12 of the NPA Act against her. She also wants section 12(6)(a)(I) of the NPA Act, Act 2 of 1998, to be declared unconstitutional to the extent that it empowers the President.
She believes section 12(6)(c) and section 12(7) of the Act should be declared unconstitutional in that the requirement of a simple majority of Parliament for the removal of the National Director, Deputy National Director, Director and Special Director of the Public Prosecutions, rather than a two-thirds majority, is inimical to prosecutorial independence.
Jiba's papers argue that the terms of reference for the Mokgoro inquiry into her fitness to hold office be reviewed and set aside on the basis that they amounted to an ‘unconstitutional investigation into binding court judgments and order and/or violated the principle of prosecutorial independence’.
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