Sbu Mpisane:The ‘hip hop metro cop’

2013-06-27 00:00

DURBAN housing contractor Shauwn Mpisane and her husband, Sbu, are being “victimised” because of their political connections.

The basis of this argument by Mpisane’s legal team was pinned on a memorandum prepared by SA Revenue Services in 2010 that was used by the tax body to consider whether Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport CC, of which Shauwn is a sole director, be investigated. Shauwn is facing 118 counts of fraud and another for contravening the Close Corporations Act.

Zikhulise is known to have been awarded several multi-million-rand contracts by various state entities to build RDP houses and it is alleged this was largely due to the family’s political influence.

The memorandum, read out in the Durban Regional Court yesterday, called Sbu, a former Durban Metro police officer, a “hip hop metro cop” and made mention of the family’s “political connections”, in particular their relationship with former national police commissioner Bheki Cele.

Defence advocate Rafik Bhana, SC, called the memorandum’s statements “irrelevant” to the SARS investigation and said it highlighted the state’s “malicious” prosecution of the Mpisanes.

“If Sbu [Mpisane] is a ‘gay cop’, ‘hip hop cop’ or ‘square cop’ these statements in the memorandum into the inquiry into Zikhulise are completely irrelevant. Were they victimised for their relationship with Bheki Cele? All this [insinuation] is irrelevant to the investigation into Zikhulise,” said Bhana.

While those in court, including Shauwn, laughed, at the “gay cop” comment, Sbu did not seem to see the funny side.

Bhana called into question the relevance of witnesses yet to take the stand, said that the state was suppressing evidence and repeatedly called Waheeda Osman, a senior SARS audit official on the stand under his cross examination for the second day, “untruthful, jaundiced and misleading”.

Bhana stated Osman was so fixated on “finding fraud” against the Mpisanes that she “ignored and suppressed facts”.

Osman undertook the initial audit of Zikhulise and made the recommendation that the company be investigated by SARS, ultimately leading to criminal charges being laid against the company and Shauwn.

What was key to Bhana’s line of questioning was to discredit the evidence used by Osman, in particular fictitious invoices that would have apparently given Zikhulise a tax break of nearly R5 million.

These invoices are the key aspect to the state’s case.

Bhana claimed Osman knew the invoices were unreliable, but persevered to scrutinise them.

His questioning noticeably unsettled Osman, who was verbally warned by Judge Blessing Msani. Msani, who seemed frustrated by the slow pace of the cross-examination and Osman’s interrupting of Bhana, repeatedly asked Osman to answer punctually.

Osman remained resolute that the manner in which she audited the Mpisanes and Zikhulise was correct.

The trial continues today.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.