REVEALED: Shaun Abrahams' hidden hand in the decision to withdraw charges against Nomgcobo Jiba
Senior public prosecutor Jan Ferreira’s testimony before the Mokgoro inquiry on Thursday laid bare how former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams interfered in the prosecution of Nomgcobo Jiba.
Ferreira, who was testifying at the inquiry on Thursday, says in his affidavit that Abrahams' interest in Jiba's case of fraud and perjury was "exceptional".
The inquiry focuses on Jiba's - and her colleague Lawrence Mrwebi's - fitness to hold office. Ferreira's affidavit makes special reference to the matter between Jiba, in her capacity as deputy national director of public prosecutions (a job from which she is now suspended) and former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen.
Ferreira guided the investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Jiba when she decided to prosecute Booysen on racketeering charges.
In his affidavit, Ferreira says both he and Gerhard van Eeden prepared more than one memorandum to Abrahams' predecessor, Mxolisi Nxasana, indicating that there was prima facie evidence against Jiba and that certain charges should be preferred against her.
But Abrahams was appointed as national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) about two months before Jiba's case was expected to go to trial.
"After Abrahams became NDPP, he called for a briefing on the prosecution of Jiba. I am not aware what prompted this action because he certainly did not engage each and every case that was on the roll at that stage or even each high-profile case on the roll ... His actions in this case involving Jiba were thus exceptional," Ferreira said.
At the briefing, Abrahams is said to have removed Van Eeden from overseeing the prosecuting team against Jiba and further instructed that both he and Ferreira report to the regional head of the Special Commercial Crimes Unit, Marshall Mokgatlhe.
Ferreira says they were instructed to prepare a legal opinion on the matter and handed it over to Mokgatlhe afterwards. But a day before Jiba's trial was to commence, Ferreira says he and Van Eeden were summoned to meet Abrahams.
"He indicated to us that Mokgatlhe had decided that the case against Jiba should be withdrawn the next day ... I informed [Abrahams] that sooner or later, questions may be asked as to how Mokgatlhe could review my decision to prosecute Jiba, and Abrahams informed us that Mokgatlhe did not review my decision but took an independent decision," Ferreira alleges.
Ferreira expressed his concern that he shared the same rank as Mokgatlhe and that the latter therefore had no authority to review his decision.
The inquiry is continuing.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.