Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on three charges of perjury on Thursday morning.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed in a statement in December that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) took a decision to prosecute Mkhwebane after he carefully assessed the evidence presented to him by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
In another statement, the Hakwks’ Colonel Katlego Mogale said they had “received a summons for the Head of an institution established in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa”.
“The incumbent was served with the summons and is set to appear in Pretoria Magistrate’s court on the 21 January 2021,” the statement said.
“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,” it said.
Accountability Now in October 2019 asked the Legal Practice Council (LPC) to strike Mkhwebane off the roll of advocates for perjury and attempting to mislead the court.
It sprung from a ruling by the Constitutional Court that found Mkhwebane had acted in bad faith and put forward a “number of falsehoods” in the Absa/Bankorp case.
Accountability Now director, advocate Paul Hoffman told the LPC: “As you know, it is intolerable that an officer of the court should be found to be lying under oath.
“Our highest court has so found in respect of Ms Mkhwebane. Her response that the judgment of the court creates a bad precedent is contemptuous of the court and does her no credit.”
The Constitutional Court majority judgment upheld a February 2018 Gauteng High Court ruling that Mkhwebane pay 15% of the SA Reserve Bank’s legal fees in the Absa/Bankorp review case.
Her remedial action that Absa should pay back R1.2 billion for an apartheid era bailout to its subsidiary and the central bank’s mandate should be widened, were set aside.