Mpshe testifies for Ashin Singh

2008-10-15 00:00

Acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe gave evidence in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday in a civil trial in which Pietermaritzburg magistrate Ashin Singh is suing the minister of Justice for R2,8 million over his alleged malicious prosecution.

Mpshe was subpoenaed by Singh to testify on his behalf.

When Singh was prosecuted in 2000 on multiple charges, Mpshe was the director of public prosecutions in KZN.

Mpshe confirmed that he did not take the decision to prosecute Singh, nor did he ever personally have sight of the docket or peruse any of the evidence relating to the Singh matter.

He also confirmed the correctness of a letter in which state attorney Krish Govender stated in October 2000 that, following discussions with Mpshe, among others, the “general consensus was that the state would be the ultimate loser” were a prosecution to be instituted.

Under cross-examination by Chris Marnewick, SC, for the Justice minister, Mpshe agreed that he did later sign a certificate authorising the proceedings against Singh. In terms of that certificate, issued on the instructions of then-NDPP Bulelani Ngcuka, a state advocate from Mpshe’s office was instructed to conduct the prosecution.

However, she fell ill and the next person appointed died, so Billy Downer, SC, of Cape Town was appointed to conduct the prosecution. After his dismissal from the Investigative Directorate Organised Crime at the end of 1999, Singh was charged with multiple charges. He won a permanent stay of prosecution in 2003, and then instituted the current case.

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