Court mulls JZ rul­ing

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS -

The High Court in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day ques­tioned a “pre­ma­ture ap­pli­ca­tion” by Free­dom Un­der Law (FUL) to com­pel President Ja­cob Zuma, pic­tured, to in­sti­tute an in­quiry into the fit­ness of Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Au­thor­ity ( NPA) ad­vo­cates Lawrence Mr­webi and Nomg­cobo Jiba to hold of­fice.

Judge Billy Mothle in­di­cated to FUL’s ad­vo­cate Max du Plessis that a lower court can­not make a de­ci­sion on a mat­ter, which is al­ready at the Supreme Court of Ap­peal in Bloem­fontein.

Du Plessis ar­gued that the ap­pli­ca­tion does not in­tend to con­fuse the court or seek a rul­ing that will un­der­mine the SCA, but to hold Zuma ac­count­able to his du­ties.

“The president failed to act on a bind­ing judg­ment even be­fore the ap­peal,” du Plessis said.

In Septem­ber last year‚ Jiba and spe­cial direc­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions Mr­webi were struck off the roll of ad­vo­cates.

In Fe­bru­ary‚ Zuma de­cided not to sus­pend Jiba and Mr­webi‚ or to in­sti­tute an in­quiry into their con­duct.

At the time, Zuma said hav­ing con­sid­ered that the high court has granted Jiba and Mr­webi leave to ap­peal against an or­der strik­ing them off the roll of ad­vo­cates‚ he de­cided not to sus­pend them pend­ing fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the ap­peal process.

FUL wants the court to de­clare Zuma’s fail­ure to in­sti­tute an in­quiry into the con­duct of Jiba and Mr­webi as un­law­ful and to di­rect the president to in­sti­tute such an in­quiry.

Du Plessis said Zuma was the only one who could make sure that peo­ple oc­cu­py­ing the NPA of­fices were of good stand­ing.

“We came to on de­ci­sions which were made at the time, the president should have acted then and failed to do so,” he said.

Jiba and Mr­webi were struck of the roll in con­nec­tion with their con­duct in sev­eral cases. Th­ese in­clude the de­ci­sion to drop charges against sus­pended head of po­lice crime in­tel­li­gence, Richard Md­luli.

The mat­ter con­tin­ues. – ANA

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