President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to fire advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) sets a new path for the NPA, according to newly-appointed National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), advocate Shamila Batohi.
“This decision comes at an important time for South Africa as the country yearns for accountability and a revived commitment to the rule of law – a fundamental principle in our Constitution.
“As the Mokgoro report reminds us, it is imperative that the NPA performs its critical role independently, in accordance with the law and the spirit of the Constitution,” she said in a statement on Friday.
The two advocates were sacked by the President following recommendations made in a report by retired Constitutional Court judge, Yvonne Mokgoro.
The report, handed to the President on March 31, follows an inquiry into Jiba and Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office after their respective suspensions in October 2018.
The President’s decision coupled with the recommendations in the Mokgoro report has “ended months of uncertainty in the NPA”, Batohi added.
“The report decisively highlights the guiding principles that all prosecutors – regardless of rank or title – are expected to uphold.
“It [the decision] has unburdened the NPA from certain issues that have weighed negatively on the organisation’s credibility and reputation,” she explained.
The NDPP further adds that once the decision is confirmed by Parliament, it will enable Batohi to begin her work in rebuilding the leadership of the NPA in line with her vision for the organisation.
“A vision where justice wins again, and where all South Africans have confidence in the integrity and capacity of the NPA to deliver on its Constitutional mandate,” she concluded.