Another twist in Mpisane legal saga

2014-02-10 11:15
Shauwn Mpisane (Picture: City Press)

Shauwn Mpisane (Picture: City Press)

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Jonathan Erasmus, The Witness

Durban - In yet another twist in the now failed trial against Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane, the province’s head prosecutor could face criminal charges if CCTV footage showing her dumping highly sensitive files is verified.

In a trial that has spanned nearly four years, the KwaZulu-Natal director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Moipane Noko, is the subject of an internal inquiry where she is accused of dumping confidential files just days before Mpisane's trial was scrapped from the roll at the Durban Regional Court.

This is on the back of Mpisane’s claim that she has been treated unfairly by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Meera Naidu - the lead prosecutor involved in the case - is also facing an internal inquiry for her conduct, with allegations that she withheld evidence from Mpisane’s defence team and coached a State witness using transcripts from another witness’s testimony.

'Prosecutorial misconduct'

Mpisane was facing over 100 counts of fraud for allegedly committing tax fraud to the value of R4.7m and lying about her company’s Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) rating in order to secure tenders from government institutions.

National director for Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana withdrew the charges against Mpisane last month due to “prosecutorial misconduct” by Naidu - who was taken off the case in September last year.

Now, sister paper the City Press reported on Sunday that Noko, who only came to her post in September 2013, was seen on CCTV security footage dumping five lever arch files containing documentation - including confidential correspondence between the National Prosecuting Authority, the SA Revenue Service and Mpisane’s legal team - in the judges’ parking lot at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

Noko, who is also accused of not signing out the documents, denied any knowledge of any complaint against her regarding the files.

Internal matter

NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube said in a message to The Witness: “Any matter pertaining to the [mis]conduct of any NPA staff remains an internal matter between the employer and employee, unless the matter is criminal in nature, in which case it shall be referred to the police for investigation.

“Our policy and practice is to deal with all internal matters in terms of the applicable legislation and policies with the aim to also protect the rights of our officials as guaranteed in the relevant prescripts.”

Naidu has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Last week, Mpisane’s lawyers made an application to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to get hold of her R70.4m worth of assets that were seized last year.

The application to force the Asset Forfeiture Unit to relinquish the assets, is to be heard on 20 February.

Read more on:    npa  |  shauwn mpisane  |  durban
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