Mpisane claims trial not free and fair

2013-07-09 10:27
Shauwn and S'bu Mpisane (Picture: City Press)

Shauwn and S'bu Mpisane (Picture: City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane, who is facing multiple criminal charges of defrauding the SA Revenue Service, is seeking to have the charges withdrawn, claiming prosecutorial misconduct, the Durban Regional Court heard on Monday.

Mpisane is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5m in an attempt 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 while having a previous fraud conviction.

Withholding statements

Defence advocate Rafik Bhana SC said he will be making an application to the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), claiming the State has been withholding statements. He claims they have only received 64 statements out of a minimum of 149 in the State’s possession.

He said the prosecution gave them what they thought was relevant.

“I don’t believe we are having a free and fair trial. The NDPP is to review on how the prosecution has conducted itself,” said Bhana.

Bhana’s basis for the application to the NDPP will be further strengthened after prosecutor Meera Naidu was reprimanded by magistrate Blessing Msani in June when the State’s witness Waheeda Osman, a senior audit official at the Sars Durban office, admitted to having been read the court transcripts of another witness by Naidu, thereby possibly tainting Osman’s entire testimony, which is key to the State’s case.

While the State was expected to present a new witness on Monday, the defence asked for a postponement until 22 June for completion of the NDPP process.

New advocate

Sars, having an obvious interest in the case, has since seconded the experience of Johannesburg advocate Mike Hellens SC, who was present in court to monitor proceedings to protect Sars' interests and possibly give support to the NPA.

Hellens has recently been linked to the internal NPA dispute involving senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. The NPA had accused Breytenbach of failing to act impartially when investigating the Kumba Iron Ore/­Sishen and ICT mining rights issue. Hellens represented Sishen.

In 2011, Hellens represented Pietermaritzburg advocate Cameron Hunt SC, who had punched his colleague, Mergnathan Chetty SC,unconscious at a farewell party for Judge Rob Griffiths at a Pietermaritzburg bar in 2010.

Read more on:    sars  |  shawn mpisane  |  durban  |  corruption

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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.