Busi ‘lied, mis­used pub­lic fund’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LOYISO SIDIMBA

PUB­LIC Pro­tec­tor Bu­siswe Mkhwe­bane al­legedly lied to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court un­der oath and used pub­lic funds to fight her per­sonal bat­tles.

In a damn­ing af­fi­davit filed by Jo­hannes de Jager, gen­eral coun­sel for the SA Re­serve Bank (Sarb), Mkhwe­bane was ac­cused of mak­ing “fur­ther false state­ments un­der oath” in her at­tempt to ex­on­er­ate her­self from her con­tro­ver­sial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the R3.2 bil­lion lifeboat ex­tended to Bankorp by the cen­tral bank be­tween 1986 and 1995.

De Jager said in­stead Mkhwe­bane merely com­pounded the case against her.

In her court pa­pers, Mkhwe­bane claimed she “mis­tak­enly re­ferred” to one of the meet­ings she had with former pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s of­fice.

She blamed the hur­ried man­ner and very tight time frames in which her high court an­swer­ing af­fi­davit had to be pre­pared which put pres­sure on her and her le­gal team to study vo­lu­mi­nous court pa­pers within a few days.

How­ever, De Jager dis­missed this as “disin­gen­u­ous”, say­ing Mkhwe­bane falsely claimed the meet­ing was about some­thing that it could not pos­si­bly have been about.

He said Mkhwe­bane’s ex­pla­na­tion was false be­cause she did not have a few days to an­swer to the case against her but more than two months.

De Jager added that Mkhwe­bane now de­scribed one of the meet­ings she had with Zuma’s of­fice as a “meet and greet” and pro­vided new emails she failed to dis­close to the high court.

”In her af­fi­davit be­fore this court, Mkhwe­bane has sought to dis­tance her­self from the patently false ac­count of the April 25, 2017, meet­ing with the Pres­i­dency,” De Jager said.

The cen­tral bank was ap­peal­ing Mkhwe­bane’s de­ci­sion to ap­proach the apex court to re­verse the North Gaut­eng High Court or­der forc­ing her to per­son­ally pay 15% of the bank’s le­gal costs.

The Con­court has been asked to de­clare that Mkhwe­bane abused her of­fice dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the lifeboat to Bankorp, which was one of the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that amal­ga­mated to es­tab­lish bank­ing gi­ant Absa.

“Mkhwe­bane’s (found­ing) af­fi­davit is de­voted to show­ing that these (high court) find­ings are wrong. How­ever, in her ef­forts to do so, she com­pounds the case against her. Rather than ex­on­er­at­ing her con­duct, Mkhwe­bane makes fur­ther false state­ments un­der oath,” De Jager stated in his af­fi­davit.

He said Mkhwe­bane mis­rep­re­sented facts, made fur­ther dis­clo­sures of doc­u­ments the two over waste metal he had al­legedly scav­enged out of a yel­low waste skip, ac­cord­ing to Jacobs’ sis­ter, Helouise.

“Jo­hannes climbed into the bin to look for waste metal,” said Helouise, 24. “A white bakkie stopped and a boer climbed out and shouted in Afrikaans, ‘You f ***** g h **** t, what are you look­ing for in my f ***** g drum?’”

A strug­gle en­sued and Jo­hannes was al­legedly struck with his own knobkierie, claimed Helouise. “My brother looked for a brick and the boer then shot him. Blood came out of the front of his neck and when he pressed his hand on the wound it spurted out the back.

“I screamed for help and the boer said noth­ing. He just stood there drink­ing some­thing out of a bot­tle.”

Para­medic at­tempts to re­vive Jacobs failed and Weise was ar­rested soon af­ter­wards.

Pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side court on Fri­day de­mand­ing that bail be de­nied.

that were never in­cluded in the high court as they should have been.

“Mkhwe­bane fails to pro­vide any ba­sis at all to ques­tion the damn­ing find­ings against her,” said De Jager.

The pub­lic pro­tec­tor has ap­proached the Con­court to over­turn the high court’s or­der that she pay 15% of Sarb’s le­gal costs on the ba­sis that the de­ci­sion would neg­a­tively af­fect the func­tion­ing of chap­ter nine in­sti­tu­tions, of which her of­fice is one.

But De Jager said the puni­tive costs or­der against Mkhwe­bane will not neg­a­tively af­fect the work of Mkhwe­bane’s of­fice.

”In fact, it is an or­der that vin­di­cates the in­sti­tu­tion and marks an oc­ca­sion on which the per­son oc­cu­py­ing the po­si­tion of pub­lic pro­tec­tor breached her du­ties and con­sti­tu­tional obli­ga­tions,” De Jager ex­plained.

He also ac­cused Mkhwe­bane of us­ing pub­lic funds to fight a hope­less ap­peal against the per­sonal cost or­der.

”It

is there­fore in­cor­rect to ap­proach this ap­pli­ca­tion on the ba­sis that it is a chap­ter nine in­sti­tu­tion that is seek­ing leave to ap­peal and (be granted) di­rect ac­cess.

“Mkhwe­bane makes this ap­pli­ca­tion,” said De Jager in his af­fi­davit.

He added Mkhwe­bane was us­ing pub­lic funds of the Of­fice of the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor to bring her ap­pli­ca­tion and act­ing in con­flict with the in­ter­ests of the in­sti­tu­tion.

In her re­port, which was re­viewed and set aside by a full high court bench, Mkhwe­bane found that the bailout paid to Bankorp was un­law­ful and or­dered Absa to pay back R1.25bn to the state.

CIEX, the so-called bou­tique in­tel­li­gence com­pany hired by the gov­ern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate the lifeboat, found that the SA Re­serve Bank had given Bankorp an il­le­gal gift of R3.2bn and that the money had never been re­cov­ered.

Mkhwe­bane found that the cor­rect amount of the il­le­gal gift granted to Bankorp was R1.125bn.

The pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s ap­pli­ca­tion for di­rect ac­cess to the Con­court was granted on Mon­day and the mat­ter was set down for Novem­ber.

PIC­TURE: ABONGILE GINYA/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

EFF leader Julius Malema and se­nior of­fi­cials greet sup­port­ers at the Sisa Dukashe Sta­dium in the Eastern Cape yes­ter­day as the party marked its 5th birth­day. See page 6

Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane.

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