Mpisane trial resumes 'under protest'

2012-11-05 21:10


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Durban - The State proceeded with the fraud trial of businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane "under protest" in the Durban Regional Court on Monday.

State advocate Meera Naidu told the court that she would lead evidence but would simultaneously launch an application in the high court to review the ruling which allowed the court to proceed with Mpisane's fraud trial.

Earlier Naidu asked the court for an adjournment to review the decision it made on Friday.

Magistrate Blessing Msani rejected the State's application.

Msani ruled on Friday that Mpisane's fraud trial should proceed.

Mpisane is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5m to cut her tax bill.

She is also accused of violating the Close Corporations Act by remaining the sole member of Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance, and Transport CC when she had a previous fraud conviction.

She has pleaded not guilty.

The State lost two of its applications to link charges against Mpisane at two different courts - the Durban Regional Court and the Pinetown Magistrate's Court - and one to amend the charge sheet.

It wanted to add another 12 tax-related charges to the 119 charges she faces in her fraud trial.

She was arrested on 19 October on fresh charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice for allegedly contacting one of the witnesses expected to testify in her fraud trial.

She appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court and was released on bail of R50 000.


"The State wants to proceed with the review. Should the high court rule in the State's favour then Mpisane's fraud trial will be set aside.

"The State feels strongly about the joining of charges Mpisane was facing in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court with those in the Durban Regional Court," Naidu said.

She said the State also wanted the decision not to amend Mpisane's charge sheet or add new charges to be reviewed.

Msani told Naidu that launching an application in the high court to review his ruling while proceeding with the Mpisane's fraud trial was not practical.

"Your attitude to law is not correct...I don't see how that can be workable," he said.

Defence advocate Jimmy Howse told the court he did not see how the State's witness was relevant to the trial as he had not made any statements.

Msani allowed Naidu to lead evidence with Mashudu Johannes Makwakwa who works for the SA Revenue Service.

Naidu said Makwakwa was relevant to the State's case and his evidence was related from the second charge to the 119 charges in Mpisane's fraud trial.
Makwakwa works as a group executive at Sars in Pretoria. He is the head of auditing.

He told the court that he first became involved with the Mpisane case in March 2009 when he was made aware that she owed Sars R33m.

Of that money R13m was contested and about R20m was in dispute.

Makwakwa said Mpisane only paid R3m of the R20m.

Howse asked the matter to be adjourned to Tuesday to take instruction from Mpisane and to prepare his cross-examination.


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