Controversial former deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba went on the war path and tried to dig up some dirt on then National Prosecutions Authority boss Mxolisi Nxasana in an attempt at having his appointment rescinded after she was over looked for his position.
These were part of the submissions made by Nxasana before the Zondo commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture on Wednesday.
Nxasana told the state capture inquiry that subsequent to his own appointment he got wind of news that former Justice Minister Jeff Radebe had promised it to Jiba.
Jiba, who at the time was deputy, acted in the position after Menzi Simelane was forced out of the NPA in 2012 following a scathing Constitutional Court judgment that declared his appointment irrational, unconstitutional and invalid.
Instead of honouring Radebe’s alleged promise, then president Jacob Zuma, according to Nxasana, moved quickly to fill the position and in the process also went about it without following the right procedures.
“No, I did not see an advertisement for the position and I did not undergo any selections process. I am also not aware of any other candidates being interviewed for the position of national director of public prosecutions,” said Nxasana.
He went on to say: “I later discovered that advocate Jiba, as she had been acting in the role, was promised by former minister Jeff Radebe that she would get the job on a permanent basis.”
Recounting how he got the position, Nxasana described getting a call from Zuma’s then lawyer Michael Hulley in 2013. He said Hulley informed him that he was looking for a candidate to fill the position and–he [Hulley] was mandated by Zuma.
“I was shocked and surprised,” he remarked on the manner in which the position was handed to him.
Just like former mineral resources minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi who came before him, Nxasana’s testimony demonstrated how the former president “auctioned his executive authority” – as the former phrased it – to those associated to him.
According to Nxasana, after his appointment there was no handover process between him and Jiba.
The animosity apparently ran deeper than the mere lack of a handover process according to Nxasana.
He testified that a month after his appointment in August 2013, “people drove around my township in Umlazi asking people about me, asking about my history. It didn’t puzzle me at first because I thought it was part of the vetting process.”
Nxasana added that he later discovered that these “people” were from within the NPA and were responsible for “digging up dirt” on him.
He alleged that this was at the behest of Jiba who sought to gather information to persuade the president to withdraw his appointment.