Public Protector appears in court on three accounts of lying under oath

News South Africa

Tebogo Msimanga |

The Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on Thursday appeared briefly in the Pretoria Regional Court in connection with three counts of perjury.

It is alleged that Adv Mkhwebane lied under oath in November 2017 when she unlawfully and intentionally deposed to an answering affidavit under oath in a Gauteng High Court review application. “In the affidavit she declared that she only had one meeting with President Jacob Zuma, which was on 25 April 2017, whilst knowing that the declaration was false”.   

In a statement issued by National Prosecuting Authority ( NPA) Spokesperson Sipho Ngwenya, it said on 26 April 2018 Mkhwebane  unlawfully and intentionally deposed to an affidavit under oath in support of her application for direct access or alternatively for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

“On 05 June 2018 she unlawfully and intentionally deposed under oath to a replying affidavit in her application for direct access or alternatively for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court. She declared that she did not discuss the final report/new remedial action with President Zuma on 07 June 2017 whilst knowing that it was not true.”

This is in connection with a matter that arose from a complaint that was submitted a complaint was submitted to the Office of the Public Protector in respect of a report by CIEX, an asset recovery company in the United Kingdom, and a subsequent SIU enquiry pertaining to money owed by ABSA and other companies to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

“The investigation was initially conducted by the previous Public Protector and taken over by Adv Mkhwebane when she assumed office. On 20 December 2016, Adv Mkhwebane sent a provisional report to various parties in the matter for them to respond to her preliminary finding that the SARB improperly failed to recover funds (R1,125 billion) from ABSA.”

In June 2017, the Public Protector published a final report in which she made the finding that the South African government had failed to implement the CIEX report and together with the SARB failed to recover R3.2 billion from Bankorp and/or ABSA.

The matter was postponed to 25 March 2021.

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