Only Zuma can cancel Mrwebi, Jiba's salaries - NPA head
29 March 2017
Cape Town - It is not up to the NPA to revoke advocates Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba's salaries, NPA head Shaun Abrahams said on Wednesday.
That was purely a prerogative of the president, he told Parliament's justice committee.
Abrahams and his team were briefing the committee on the National Prosecuting Authority's annual plans, where they detailed their financial struggles.
This led to Democratic Alliance MP Werner Horn questioning if their finances would be less tight if they took away Jiba and Mrwebi's salaries.
The National Director of Public Prosecutions placed the two on special leave on September 16, 2016, at their request.
The previous day, North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria Judge Francis Legodi ruled that Jiba and Mrwebi had brought the NPA and legal profession into disrepute by failing to prosecute former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli. Legodi ordered their names struck off the roll of advocates.
The two are still on special leave as per their arrangement with the NDPP. Abrahams said he had already replied to the DA's letter, in which the party asked for details of their special leave.
"One of the conditions of their special leave is should I require them to come into the office for any reason, as a result of work they have done that I need clarity on, they will.
"Or if I need them to perform any functions as a result of work previously done, I can request them to come back."
So far, they had not come back to work, with the exception of one day.
Horn asked Abrahams about the possible prosecution of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, relating to the alleged rogue unit at SARS. Gordhan was SARS commissioner between 1999 and 2009.
African National Congress MPs accused Horn of political grandstanding, but he stood firm and said he had a right to ask the question.
Abrahams said the matter was still under investigation and would only be back on his desk once it had been finalised.
"The matter is under investigation by the police. My powers are powers of review. I'd like to stop at that," he said.
ANC MP Madipoane Mothapo asked the NPA head about alleged interference in cases.
A confident Abrahams told the committee that while he had powers to decide if a matter should be prosecuted or not, he had never done so. He did not get involved unless asked to review a matter, he said.