Friday, July 19, 2024

Lawyer testifies against Mhlauli

Pepsi Thuto, a partner at Chibanda, Makgalemela law firm, who administered the controversial oath on affidavits by disgraced former permanent secretary Elvidge Mhlauli and Kadimo Oremeng, is adamant that she carried out her duties properly.
Thuto said this when giving evidence in a case in which Mhlauli is facing corruption charges for having allegedly made a false statement in an affidavit confirming false contents that Oremeng and Eddie Norman had agreed to form a joint venture on a plot that has now been developed to the present posh River Walk mall.

The state maintains that this is false and that Mhlauli had known this not to be true when making the affidavit. Asked by the defence lawyer, Van Zyl, how often she commissions oaths, Thuto, who looked composed under sometimes heated cross examination, said that it was in the region of 100 a year.

Thuto said that she remembered Mhlauli and Oremeng coming into her office and asking her to administer an oath into their affidavits which she said she did.

On further cross examination, Thuto said that she could remember that quite well because the case had been widely reported in the local media.
She also said that she did not remember quite well the order in which the swearing took place but that she was sure she carried it out in the right manner and that she could not have made a mistake in administering an oath.

On whether she knew if the two men were accompanied by other people when coming to their office, Thuto said that she does not know about that and that she had only seen the two men. She also told the Court that she had known Mhlauli before that day because he had been a client in another law firm she had worked for before.
Before she gave evidence, the former Director of the Department of Lands, Victor Rantshabeng, had told the Court that he knew about the application Oremeng had made for a piece of land in the area where currently the River Walk mall sits. Rantshabeng said the application was, however, rejected on the grounds that Oremeng had been given a plot in Block 5 under a company called Kovok.

He said that after the application failed, Oremeng appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Lands and the appeal also failed for the same reasons. The case will be mentioned on September 10 and the trial will continue on October 17, 18, 19, 30 and 31.


Read this week's paper