Shauwn Mpisane: More than 100 charges withdrawn

2014-01-31 10:09

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Durban tender queen Shauwn Mpisane has walked out of the Durban Regional Court a free woman after the state withdrew more than 100 tax fraud charges against her.

Mpisane, the owner of Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport, was charged with defrauding the SA Revenue Service of R4.7 million by submitting false VAT invoices, but applied to National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana to have the case withdrawn over prosecutorial misconduct.

This morning Nxasana was at court for the hearing, at which prosecutor Arno Rossouw told Magistrate Blessing Msane that he had been instructed to withdraw the case in terms of Section 6 (b) of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Msane, who described the case as “the most gruelling I have been involved in’’, said he was acquitting Mpisane, who was accompanied to court by her husband S’bu and a large group of family and friends, in line with a request from her lawyer, Rafik Bhana, SC.

A secondary case of attempting to bribe a witness in the tax matter will be withdrawn in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court later today.

Two weeks ago, a separate case of fraud and forgery was withdrawn against Mpisane after the prosecution failed to meet a court deadline for presenting a forensic report to back up the charges.

She said she had kept quiet for three years but that she and her husband were “delighted’’ the ordeal was over.

“We’ve been here for three years. We saw justice was being delayed and denied,’’ she said.

Mpisane thanked S’bu for “always being here beside me’’ and “being that big shoulder to cry on”.

She said all she wanted now was to have a chance to be a mother, a wife and a businesswoman.

“We just want to take this chapter and close it and carry on with what I do best, being a businesswoman,’’ she said.

She will go to court next week to secure the return of some R70 million in assets held by the Asset Forfeiture Unit in connection with the forgery case.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Nathi Ncube said the alleged misconduct had been so serious that to continue with the prosecution would have been a miscarriage of justice.

The misconduct, he said, had been so bad that “we could not undo the damage’’.

» This story was updated after first published

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