Busisiwe Mkhwebane promises to present herself in court on perjury charge
The perjury charge stems from a complaint against the public protector laid by Accountability Now director Paul Hoffman in August 2019
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Friday she would “co-operate” with authorities after she was issued with a summons to appear in court in January as an accused.
On Tuesday night, it was reported that Mkhwebane was set to appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on January 21 on three counts of perjury. A summons ordering her to appear in court is dated December 15.
The perjury charge stems from a complaint against her laid by Accountability Now director Paul Hoffman in August 2019. The complaint was investigated by the Hawks.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Sipho Ngwema confirmed a decision was taken to prosecute after careful assessment of evidence presented by the Hawks.
On Friday, Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed the summons had been issued on December 15.
“As a law-abiding citizen, the public protector will co-operate and present herself to the court on January 21 2021 as required, and is confident the court will clear her of any wrongdoing,” he said.
Segalwe said Mkhwebane had seen in media reports that Hoffman had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to suspend her.
“It is not the first time advocate Hoffman has sought to nail the public protector. In July 2019, he laid a complaint with the Legal Practice Council to have her struck off the roll of advocates.
“In March 2020, the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria dismissed his application for a declaratory order that the public protector was unfit to hold office.
“The public protector views these as being characteristic of advocate Hoffman SC, who in 2013 unsuccessfully pursued the impeachment of the chief justice over the comments the chief justice had reportedly made in respect of the transformation of the judiciary. This led to a complaint of professional misconduct being lodged against Hoffman with the General Council of the Bar,” Segalwe said.
He said Mkhwebane and her office would not be commenting further on the matter.
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