- Judges say DPP lied to court
- Lying under oath is perjury
The recent judgement in the Kebonang twins vs the State case has exposed the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to serious backlash after it emerged that the prosecution might have committed the crime of perjury.
The judgement, delivered by a panel of three judges last month, cleared both Zein and Sadique Kebonang of any wrongdoing in the embezzlement of P250 million from the National Petroleum Fund. On grounds of lack of valid evidence, the twins had applied to the court to review and set aside the decision of the DPP to prosecute them.
In the judgement, the judges pointed to their discovery that the DPP had made false statements in claiming that the Kebonang twins signed the board resolution to open Basic Points.
“The resolution referred to by the first respondent is dated 19 July 2016 and it was signed by Hope Tawenga, Vusimuzi (also called Vusi) Mhlazi and Bakang Seretse. These were the only people indicated to be present at the board meeting where the decision to open the account and designated Bakang Seretse as the sole signatory to the account was taken.”
“Nowhere in the resolution is it indicated that the applicant was party to the meeting. The assertions by the first respondent are flagrantly false. One wonders why an officer of court holding a crucial public office could make such a false averment,” the judges said in excoriating the DPP.
The Kebonang twins have not ruled out the possibility of suing the DPP for malicious prosecution. DPP director Stephen Tiroyakgosi was unavailable for comment on Tuesday afternoon despite enquiries having been sent to him.
Meanwhile, a senior private attorney who spoke to this publication on the condition of anonymity said that the act of misleading a court is a serious crime which should be reported to the police immediately.
The DPP has come under serious fire in recent weeks. In a few recent judgements, judges have also urged the DPP to desist from being persecutors rather than prosecutors.
“Prosecutors are not persecutors,” Justice Leburu has said. “Lately our courts point to us having persecutors and not prosecutors. Indeed prosecution should not be commenced without evidence. Unfortunately, our DPP does not see it this way. Some have previously argued that the Attorney General post is vacant. I wonder what they think of the DPP,” these are public sentiments by Attorney Uyapo Ndadi recently on social media.