Still questions about Mphego

AS POINTED out by NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhanga, I wrongly wrote (More questions than answers) that the NPA had withdrawn charges against Mulangi Mphego, who assisted Jackie Selebi in trying to discredit the evidence in the corruption case against him. I regret the error.

AS POINTED out by NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhanga, I wrongly wrote (More questions than answers) that the NPA had withdrawn charges against Mulangi Mphego, who assisted Jackie Selebi in trying to discredit the evidence in the corruption case against him. I regret the error.

The correct facts are: The case against Mphego was struck off the role after Menzi Simelane ordered a change in the prosecuting team shortly before the case was to go to court.

Mhanga told the Mail & Guardian at the time that the instruction to change the prosecuting team was taken by Gladstone Maema, Gauteng's acting deputy director of public prosecutions. But the newspaper reported the next week that a letter written by Simelane to Maema contradicts Mhanga's claim made on Simelane's behalf. The letter states clearly that the instruction was given by Simelane, not Maema.

Mhanga had therefore told a serious untruth about the matter - whether on instructions of Simelane or on his own accord.

The newspaper also noted in an editorial at the time: "It is bad enough that a state official and an advocate be caught out in serious untruth, but it's even worse than that. The abrupt removal of Nel directly caused the Mphego matter to be struck from the roll and serious questions remain about whether a new prosecuting team will be ready to conduct the massively complex Kebble case come July."

Serious questions thus remain about the manner in which the NPA has dealt with the Mphego matter.

Pierre de Vos, Johannesburg

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