Oct 3, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Source of leaks from ConCourt likely from a judge, public protector claims

The source of the Constitutional Court’s alleged leaks to legal analyst Ismail Abramjee could well be members of administrative staff or a judicial officer – but the evidence points to members of the judiciary, public defender Busisiwe Mkhwebane claimed on Tuesday.

She said phone records obtained from her office showed 18 calls were exchanged between the number allegedly belonging to Abramjee and one registered under the name Narandran Kollapen.

Mkhwebane made these claims in her final report on Tuesday, after her office conducted a preliminary investigation into suspected inappropriate behavior by a Constitutional Court staffer for allegedly leaking information about judicial proceedings.

She said a complaint had been filed with the Judicial Service Commission would be.

p>

The matter will also be referred to the Hawks ver directed to investigate crimes that may have been committed in connection with the unsolicited text messages sent to attorney Andrew Breitenbach SC of Abramjee and his accomplices to unlawfully influence the outcome of a court case in order to pursue an obviously nefarious motive.< /span>

“The matter is therefore closed,” Mkhwebane said.

She said the final report is usually issued in cases where the allegations that led to an investigation unfounded, or where their office does not have the legal authority to deal with the matter.

The investigation followed a text message Abramjee sent to Breitenbach, senior counsel for the House Speaker, in April.

p>

The text message resulted in the last-minute postponement of an urgent motion in the Western Cape Supreme Court to slow down impeachment proceedings in Parliament and a possible suspension of Mkhwebane by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mkhwebane said during the preliminary inquiry that her office had information in the Pretoria Rekord newspaper, dated 29. The newspaper ran a story about an event honoring Judge Jody Kollapen after his Appointment to the Apex Court. She said the event was reportedly hosted by the Pretoria Legacy Foundation in Laudium, west of Pretoria. She said the newspaper referred to Kollapen as the foundation’s chairman and Abramjee as its spokesperson.

Mkhwebane said from the article an inference could be drawn that Abramjee was personally in touch with certain individuals or could communicate with people attached to the Constitutional Court, from whom he may have received information about pending court cases related to the Public Protector’s case.

The Public Protector then issued subpoenas to cell phone networks, the office of the Constitutional Court Secretary General in the Office of the Chief Justice, Kollapen, Breitenbach and Abramjee.

“An analysis of mobile phone data obtained from network operators shows that 18 phone calls were exchanged between the number that sent the disputed SMS to Adv Breitenbach was made and registered under the name Narandran Kollapen.”

She said these calls were en exchanged between January 4 and April 22, two days before re Breitenbach received the controversial SMS.

Support independent journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.