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EXPOSED: ANTI CORRUPTION COMMISSION DEPUTY IN HOT SOUP

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By Alec Lushaba - THE SWAZ OBSERVER-08-Aug-2009

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mumcy Dlamini has told the Anti Corruption Commission (acc) to withdraw the warrant of arrest issued against SPTC MD E.Nathi Dlamini last Friday.

The warrant was issued by Chief Justice Richard Banda after the ACC had moved an urgent application for the arrest of the MD.

Dlamini is alleged to have failed to forward minutes of Cabinet and that of the SPTC Board of Directors where they approved the implementation of the Next Generation Networks (NGN) multi-million project.

At the time the application was moved at the High Court, the DPP was out of the country in South Africa together with the ACC Commissioner Justice Michael Mtegha, where they were part of the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ndumiso Mamba’s delegation. It is said upon her return on Friday, the DPP was only told of the warrant late after she had been asked for comment by the Weekend Observer.

The order was expected to be effected on Saturday, a day before the Swazi Telecom Charity Spectacular at Somhlolo National Stadium. The DPP is said to have summoned the ACC and her team for an urgent meeting on Monday where she was to be briefed on the warrant.

When approached this week, Dlamini confirmed that she met the ACC team and found that there was no substance on the charges to warrant an arrest. “We decided that there was no reason to take it further,” she said.

It is said that the ACC Deputy Commissioner Tebogo Fruhwirth who was the investigator of the matter, was not in the meeting as she was on her way to Zambia. It is argued that before the warrant could have been sought, the ACC should have first asked for an order forcing SPTC to release the documents to the Commission. “If they failed to abide by the order, they should have then gone back to court to seek the warrant of arrest for defying a court order. Whilst the ACC has certain jurisdiction of demanding certain information, it cannot just apply for a warrant of arrest before seeking an order of the court to demand that information. It is on those bases that their application for the warrant fails,” an expert in law stated. It is said that the documents sought from the SPTC MD could have been sourced from either like Cabinet or the SPTC legal advisor, who is the Board Secretary.

Motshane MP Robert Magongo once raised fears about the Deputy ACC Commissioner that she was in cohorts with some personalities to victimise certain individuals, but his assertion was dismissed as baseless. Whilst at SPTC as a legal advisor, Fruhwirth was credited for objecting to the Spirit Telecom project which was pushed by then Minister of Tourism, Communication and Environment, Thandi Shongwe.

Her contract was never renewed when the current MD joined the organisation from SIPA.

Those close to her allege that she took interest in the affairs of SPTC when rolling out its Next Generation Networks (NGN) project, which is alleged she still views as Spirit Telecom incarnate.

It is said she could have avoided the conflict of interest blunder had she allowed other investigators at ACC to investigate the matter. As a result of last week’s application, insiders at SPTC have told the Weekend Observer that the MD feels publicly humiliated and disgraced by the ACC action that it has harmed his dignity unjustly. In fact, there are fears within the organisation that the MD is even contemplating resigning from his position as he feels he is taking too much from forces he can’t even recognise.

Justice minister waiting for Commissioner’s full brief Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Ndumiso Mamba is waiting for the Anti Corruption Commissioner Justice Michael Mtegha’s full brief on the withdrawal of warrant of arrest against SPTC MD E.Nathi Dlamini. Mamba told the Weekend Observer that he has already been briefed by the DPP on the case, but will not comment until he has been briefed by the Commissioner.

“The ACC does its work on behalf of the Commissioner. The Commissioner has been away in Malawi I have not been able to talk to him about the matter after being briefed by the DPP. It will be premature at this stage to state my views on the matter, even though I am already aware of it,” he said. ACC deputy Commissioner Tebogo Fruhwirth, an ex-employee of SPTC is accused of having abused her powers and office in seeking the warrant of arrest against the SPTC MD.

‘Scorpions’, Judges and prosecutors coming – assures Mamba

In a move that demonstrate government’s commitment to deal with corruption in the country, the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs is finalising arrangements to bring South Africa’s Special Crimes Unit, formerly known as Scorpions, prosecutors and Judges to handle high profile corruption cases here. The Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ndumiso Mamba met with his South African-counterpart Jeff Radebe accompanied by the Anti Corruption Commission Commissioner Justice Michael Mtegha, DPP Mumcy Dlamini, deputy AG Sabelo Dlamini and Special Investigations Unit’s Mumcy Dlamini last week.

“We were finalising the Cooperative Agreement which we must sign before the end of the month or early next month. Cabinet has given me the full mandate to proceed with this exercise and soon Radebe will be here to sign the agreement which cabinet has seen and approved,” Mamba said. He said their aim was to make sure that they don’t take chances with the corruption cases.

“When we start, we want to have everything ready. “At the same time, the technical agreement will allow us to send our teams to learn from their experienced counterparts in a form of attachments and exchange programmes,” he said. He said on the legislative sector things were moving very well, with the Electronic Evidence Bill now having been passed by both the House of Assembly and Senate will soon be submitted before His Majesty King Mswat III for his assent.

“I will soon be submitting the Sexual Offences and Domestic Bill before Parliament having now gone through Cabinet. “Last Friday, the Leadership Code of Conduct Bill was issued in a gazette for public scrutiny and will too be going to Parliament. We are well on course in ensuring that our legislative framework is improved and comply with the Constitution,” he said.


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