Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Mhlauli appeal to be heard next month

Lobatse High Court judge Key Dingake is on the 29 of April, 2009 expected to hear an appeal by Elvidges Mhlauli, the former Permanent Secretary in the then Ministry of Lands and Housing.

Mhlauli is appealing against a seven-year imprisonment for knowingly making a false affidavit brought before him.

In his appeal papers, prepared on his behalf by advocate Francois Van Zyl, assisted by Reuben Lekorwe, Mhlauli says that on the charge of abuse of office, by allegedly preferring one Eddie Norman in place of one Kadimo Oremeng, an accomplice witness, in the allocation of plot 54520 in Gaborone, he honestly and genuinely believed that Gaborone Chief Magistrate Lot Moroka committed an error in his findings that the savingram, which he had sent to the then Director of Lands, Victor Rantshabeng, said that he was following the directions of the Minister on how to handle the matter in respect of allocation to Eddie Norman.

He further says that the Chief Magistrate committed an error in treating the evidence of Rantshabeng merely as official position but failed to make a finding of fact as to whether or not it was.

Mhlauli contends that Oremeng, the accomplice witness, appears to have complained to the Minister sometime in May 2000 about this very same piece of land that was allocated to Norman after he had left the public service.

Further he says:

– That Rantshabeng was called by the state as a witness and that his evidence before Court in the form of a submitted document marked “EM5” exonerated him as it was written in his absence, which means, he says, the issues raised by Rantshabeng were common cause that at the time he directed that Norman be given a plot east of Game, Oremeng had a pending application through a company known as KOVK Pty LTD and that this was known to everyone in the Department.

– That he believes that an Appeal Court might find that he neither abused the authority of his office nor were Oremeng‘s rights prejudiced by his conduct in so far as he benefited under KOVK PTY LTD.

– That he honestly and genuinely believes that the evidence of Rantshabeng was critical in so far as it showed not only his thinking at the time but that of the Department as a whole, namely that Oremeng would not be allowed to benefit twice and that such document was written months after he had left the public service as it was written on 19 July, 2000.

On Count Three, in which he was convicted for having knowingly made a false affidavit, Mhlauli submitted that he believes that Chief Magistrate Moroka was wrong in finding that the document styled confirmatory affidavit was, in fact, an affidavit when there is no evidence adduced in Court that he had taken an oath and swore to such document.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.