Ramaphosa Foe Faces Perjury Charges in South African Court
(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s graft ombudsman will face charges of perjury next month, according to court documents.
A summons was issued on Tuesday ordering Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Jan. 21. She’s being charged with three counts of allegedly lying under oath, the documents show.
Mkhwebane, 50, has been one of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s biggest detractors since he took office in 2018. Her critics have accused Mkhwebane of playing politics and siding with Ramaphosa’s opponents in a power struggle in the ruling party.
The Director of Public Prosecutions decided to prosecute her “after he carefully assessed the evidence presented to him,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Sipho Ngema said in response to questions. “This is in line with the prosecution policy and the law.”
Oupa Segalwe, spokesman for Mkhwebane’s office, declined to comment when contacted on Wednesday.
Last year, Mkhwebane instituted a probe into allegations that Ramaphosa misled lawmakers about an election-campaign donation. She’s also investigating the president’s approval of a controversial trip to Zimbabwe by ruling African National Congress officials earlier this year and is scheduled to deliver a report on her findings by Jan. 13, TimesLive reported.
South Africa’s courts have overturned several of Mkhwebane’s findings and rebuked her for failing to stick to her office’s constitutional mandate. That’s prompted lawmakers to consider replacing her before her seven-year term ends in 2023.
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