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LETTER: Law obliges president to set terms for Jiba, Mrwebi inquiry

The operative words of the National Prosecuting Authority Act that concern the provisional suspension of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi  are: “pending such inquiry into his or her fitness to hold such office as the president deems fit”.

It is not for advocate Nazreen Bawa or anyone other than the president to determine the terms of reference of the inquiry. It is the wish and will of the legislature that the president do the honours.

He has no power to delegate functions under the provisions of the act. He only has the power to do what the section quoted from above allows him to do, and is obliged to exercise it in the matter contemplated by the law.

The two miscreants have had more than their fair share of good luck in the courts — they seem to have lived charmed professional lives. Asking Bawa to determine the terms of reference is not what a president who is obliged to uphold the rule of law by his oath of office, should do — not if the object of the exercise is to stop the rot in governance in SA.

Paul Hoffman SC
Director, Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa

Letter published in Bdlive on 1 November 2018.

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