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D-DAY FOR FORMER MINISTER NEXT WEEK

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MBABANE – Former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sibusiso Shongwe will know his fate next Thursday.


This is in the matter where he has filed an application to have the indictment against him and his law firm, Sibusiso B. Shongwe and Associates, quashed (annulled or set aside).


The Crown is, however, of the view that Shongwe’s objection to the charges was ill-conceived, opportunistic and disingenuous. The State has applied that the application should be dismissed with costs.


It was further the State’s submission that it would be an almost impossible task for the court, in the absence of evidence, at this juncture to pronounce upon Shongwe’s objections, unsustained and undernourished as they were.


“Clearly, these objections amount to nothing more than yet a further delaying tactic, for which no support exists,” contended the State. Judge Mbutfo Mamba ,who is presiding over the matter yesterday, postponed it to March 21, 2019 for judgment.


Facing


Shongwe is facing a total of 22 counts, which he is now challenging.
He is also seeking an order for excepting of the charges in the indictment on the basis that they did not disclose an offence which was clearly identifiable to the court.
Shongwe was initially charged with 10 counts. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has amended the indictment to reflect 22 charges predominantly under the Prevention of Corruption Act No.3 of 2006.


In his answering affidavit, Senior Crown Counsel Ngcebo Lukhele submitted that in so far as count one to five and eight to 22 inclusive, these were based on an alleged corruption relationship between former Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi and Shongwe.


“Briefly, the applicants (Shongwe and his law firm) received, unlawfully so, the sum of E2 million to ensure that a judgment in favour of the Swaziland Revenue Authority against Impunzi, a client of the applicants, was set aside on appeal,” submitted the senior Crown counsel.


He pointed out that when Shongwe was asked to explain the cash deposits totalling to E2 million into the bank account of his law firm, he either failed to respond within the stipulated time or failed to provide satisfactory explanation.

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