There is no evidence that anyone within the Constitutional Court gave Ismail Abramjee confidential information about the application of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to that court.
Retired President of the Supreme Court of Appeals Lex Mpati met made this statement after being asked by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on June 3 to investigate whether there had been a leak in the ConCourt, as suggested in a text message from Abramjee, a legal analyst.
Mpati submitted his final report to Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Wednesday, who said he considered the matter closed.
The SMS was sent on April 24 to attorney Andrew Breitenbach SC, the chief legal adviser to the Speaker of Parliament .
The text message resulted in the postponement of a last-minute summary motion in the Western Cape High Court to slow impeachment proceedings in Parliament and the potential S Prohibit suspension of Mkhwebane by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The message read: “Hi Adv Breytenbach [sic], Re: The public protector case tomorrow. I know on very good authority that the ConCourt declined to hear the public protector’s motion for annulment. The decision will be announced sometime in the coming week, but no later than Friday. I thought I would share this with you in the strictest confidence. Thanks.”
Mkhwebane conducted an investigation and said the source of the alleged leaks from the court to Abramjee could well have been members of the administrative staff or a judicial officer – but the evidence pointed to members of the judiciary.< /p>
Mpati said all judges, except for Judge Jody Kollapen and Judge Dunstan Mlambo, confirmed that they did not know Abramjee and had no communication with him. .
Mpati said that when the question about the SMS came up, Kollapen had told his colleagues that he knew Abramjee, that they lived in the same community in Laudium, and that they were both members of the Legacy Foundation.
< p>Kollapen told Mpati he never disclosed any confidential information to Abramjee in their interactions.
Mlambo told Mpati that he first met Abramjee at an event honoring Kollapen after his appointment to the Apex Court in March.
Mlambo informed Mpati that since that post he has not communicated with Abramjee about any case in court, nor the case that gave rise to the SMS.
Mpati also relied on an affidavit filed by Abramjee on April 28.
Mpati said Abramjee has sworn under oath that he was never discussed, brought to the attention of a judge or any information has been given to him be. the court clerk or an employee of the court in relation to the overturn request filed by the public custodian.
A Bramjee said he learned on Twitter in early April that the court was awaiting its decision on the public custodian’s overturn request on April 30 in front of the Constitutional Court’ in previous motions for annulment, he concluded that the court would not consider the said motion.
“He went on to say that he wanted to express this with the text message, and regrets the ‘wrong’ (it seemed) that he was privy to inside information. Finally, Mr. Abramjee takes full responsibility for the impression created by his text message,” Mpati said.
Mpati said the frequency of calls between Kollapen and Abramjee was explained at length by both, as they are members are the same organization that requires them to communicate frequently.
“This was ignored by the public protector,” Mpati said.
Mpati also said that the judges’ staff did not may have been able to pass the final decision on to Abramjee, as it was not finalized until the judges’ final conference on May 4th, while the controversial text message was sent to Breitenbach on April 24th.
Support independent journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.