Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in dock, accused of lying under oath

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is pictured ahead of court proceedings, 21 January 2021, at the Pretoria regional court, where she made a first appearance in connection with charges of perjury.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is pictured ahead of court proceedings, 21 January 2021, at the Pretoria regional court, where she made a first appearance in connection with charges of perjury.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Thursday stepped into the dock of the Pretoria regional court.

Dressed in a red suit, she seemed oblivious to the media contingent around her and casually engaged in conversation with her lawyer, Dali Mpofu.

The case was swiftly postponed to March 25.

Mkhwebane stands accused of lying about meeting former president Jacob Zuma on three occasions where the provisional and final Absa-Bankorp report and recommendations were allegedly discussed.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in December charged Mkhwebane with perjury after the findings of the Constitutional Court in her case against the Reserve Bank.

The Constitutional Court found that Mkhwebane had “put forward a number of falsehoods” in her 2017 Absa-Bankorp report, in which she found that Absa must repay R1.1bn to the Reserve Bank for the “lifeboat” lending agreement between the Reserve Bank and the then Bankorp, which was later taken over by Absa.

Head of Accountability Now Paul Hoffman had in 2019 laid criminal charges against Mkhwebane after the Constitutional Court judgment.

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