NDPP has until September to decide on perjury charges against Mkhwebane

On Friday the Pretoria Magistrates Court postponed the matter, granted Busisiwe Mkhwebane more time to show why all of the charges should be withdrawn.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 25 March 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG – National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamiela Batohi has until 29 September to decide if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should go to trial with the remaining two perjury charges against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The Pretoria Magistrates Court has postponed the matter to allow Mkhwebane to make further representations to Batohi.

The NPA decided to withdraw one of the three charges when the public protector appeared in court briefly on Friday.

READ: NPA says it's ready for trial with two remaining perjury charges against Mkhwebane

The remaining charges are for allegedly lying about the number of meetings and discussions she had with former president Jacob Zuma while under oath in April 2018, and again in June 2018 when she declared that she did not discuss the final Bankorp-Absa report or new remedial action with Zuma in 2017.

Since her first two appearances in January and March, Mkhwebane has maintained that the three charges of intentionally lying under oath are frivolous and should be withdrawn.

The NPA’s Sipho Ngwema said after the first consultations the prosecuting authority has agreed to withdraw one of the charges.

“She asked the court to postpone the matter so that she can make representations for the review of the charges to the national director of public prosecutions advocate Shamiela Batohi.”

The court has granted her more time to show why all of the charges should be withdrawn.

“The public protector now is going to make further representations for the remaining two charges against her. The matter has been postponed to September for the outcome of those representations.”

Depending on the outcome of that process the court will make a decision on the way forward on 29 September 2021.

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