AfriForum today announced that they have instituted legal action to privately prosecute Adv. Nomgcobo Jiba, former acting Director and current Deputy Director of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), on charges of fraud and perjury.
Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, and AfriForum act in the case against Jiba on behalf of Maj. Gen. Johan Booysen, the former Head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal. AfriForum argues that Jiba committed fraud and perjury during the process of charging Booysen with racketeering. AfriForum and Booysen argue that there exists an irresistible inference that Booysen was targeted unlawfully by Jiba after Booysen had started investigating the business operations of Thoshan Panday, a KwaZulu-Natal businessman with close ties to the Zuma family.
Booysen took Jiba’s decision on review and Judge Trevor Gorven set the charges of racketeering aside in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban in February 2014. Gorven ruled that no rational explanation – not even loosely defined – existed to support Jiba’s decision.
Adv. Mxolisi Nxasana, who at the time replaced Jiba as the National Director of Public Prosecutions, launched an investigation into Jiba’s actions against Booysen in light of Gorven’s ruling. Jiba was subsequently charged with perjury and fraud, after which she appeared in the Regional Court in Pretoria in July 2015. Adv. Shaun Abrahams, who replaced Adv. Nxasana as the National Director of Public Prosecutions, decided – despite the opinion of the two prosecutors assigned to the matter that a strong case existed against Jiba – to withdraw the case against her.
Nel says his office decided to assist Booysen in his application for a nolle prosequi certificate that will allow AfriForum to privately prosecute Jiba on behalf of Booysen.
Nel explains that, should the NPA issue a nolle prosequi certificate, AfriForum is obliged in terms of legislation to start the private prosecuting process within 90 days.
“The prosecution will then proceed just like any other criminal case before a judge in a court, except that as prosecutor I will not be in the service of the NPA,” Nel says.
“All citizens are subjected to the laws of the country. No one is exempted. It is a constitutional imperative for the prosecuting authority to adhere to this principle. Since the prosecuting authority appears to have abolished this principle when deciding on the prosecution of politically connected individuals, I have decided to invoke the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act to institute a private prosecution against Nomgcobo Jiba,” Booysen says.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, says it is in the interest of the principle of equality before the law that Jiba should be prosecuted.
“Just because Jiba finds herself in President Zuma’s inner circle doesn’t mean that she is above the law. AfriForum will help ensure that justice prevails through private prosecution – including the President and his inner circle.”
Jiba is also mentioned in Jacques Pauw’s new book The President’s Keepers as one of the “keepers” who find themselves in President Zuma’s inner circle.