Jiba could take the stand in Breytenbach case
Graeme Hosken | 2017-02-02 17:01:30.0
Deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba. File photo.
Image by: Antonio Muchave
Disgraced deputy national director of public prosecutions‚ Nomgcobo Jiba‚ has been boxed into a corner after the State failed in an application to keep her off the stand in the trial of former commercial crimes court prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.
Breytenbach‚ along with her former lawyer‚ Gerhard Wagenaar‚ are on trial in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court for defeating the ends of justice and contravening the National Prosecuting Act.
The charges relate to Breytenbach deleting information from her official NPA laptop and Wagenaar allegedly refusing to hand over the computer to NPA officials as part of an internal investigation conducted into her.
But the court’s focus has been turned to Jiba‚ who suspended Breytenbach.
Breytenbach‚ who was found not guilty of 15 charges which had been brought against her in an internal disciplinary hearing‚ believes her suspension by Jiba was orchestrated to stop her from having former crime intelligence boss‚ Richard Mdluli‚ prosecuted for fraud and corruption.
The Pretoria High Court last year removed Jiba‚ along with her colleague‚ Lawrence Mrwebi‚ from the national roll of advocates. The pair were sanctioned for the way they handled the fraud and corruption case against Mdluli.
On Thursday‚ prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa‚ who on Wednesday fought to keep Jiba off the stand by arguing that it would not be in the interest of justice to have her appear in court‚ was told by Magistrate Nomavidi that there was no reason for her not to appear.
Mathenjwa had argued that the suspension letter which Jiba signed off on was sufficient and that there was nothing else that Jiba could tell the court which other witnesses had not already said.
Nomavidi dismissed Mathenjwa’s application‚ saying admitting only the letter was not sufficient because there were far too many questions about it.
Wagenaar and Breytenbach’s lawyer‚ Barry Roux‚ on Wednesday argued that there were serious questions around the letter which needed to be answered including why Jiba had waited weeks to have the letter served on Breytenbach and why she had signed it on a Saturday.
In postponing the matter Nomavidi gave Mathenjwa until February 15 to decide whether or not to call any more witnesses‚ and to provide Roux with their names and statements by February 27 when the trial resumes.