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Public Protector to appear in court on perjury charges


Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane lied about her meetings with former president Jacob Zuma, and the contents thereof, the state alleges.

President Jacob Zuma receives a courtesy call from the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane at his Mahlamba Ndlopfu residence, in Pretoria. It was their first meeting since her appointment. The President wished Adv Mkhwebane well and assured her of government’s cooperation as she fulfills her responsibilities. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Johannesburg – The Hawks have confirmed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will face three counts of perjury at the Pretoria Magistrates Court in January.

A charge sheet shows that Mkhwebane will face three counts of perjury for allegedly lying under oath for the number of times she met with President Jacob Zuma during her investigation of the Absa/SA Reserve Bank Lifeboat matter in or around April 2017.

The charge sheet said she only declared one meeting with the president in several affidavits, “whilst knowing that the declaration was false”.

The other two counts relate to her meeting with the former president again in June 2017 and her allegedly lying about the contents of their discussions on that day.

The State alleges that Mkhwebane was dishonest in her affidavit when she said she had met with Zuma to clarify his stance regarding the provisional report and that she lied when she said she had not discussed the final report with him.

In June 2017, Mkhwebane published the report into the Absa/Sarb lifeboat and ordered Parliament to amend the Constitution and change the SARB’s mandate as part of her remedial action.

The report also ordered that the Absa bank should pay back R1.125bn that it received from the SARB in the 90s.

The report was taken on review and set aside by the High Court in Pretoria which ordered that she pay a punitive personal cost order of 15% of the legal bill to the reserve bank from her own pocket.

The court at the time in a scathing judgment, said: “In the matter before us it transpired that the Public Protector does not fully understand her constitutional duty to be impartial and to perform her functions without fear, favour or prejudice.”

She took the matter on appeal at the Constitutional Court, who upheld the ruling and found that she had not acted in good faith, lied under oath, had a flawed investigative model and was dishonest.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale confirmed Mkhwebane had been served with summons.

“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation received a summons for the Head of an institution established in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa today.

“The incumbent was served with the summons and is set to appear in Pretoria Magistrate’s court on the 21 January 2021.

“The summons contains three counts of perjury.

“The DPCI will not engage any further on this matter until such time that the incumbent appears in court,” said Mogale.