CAPE TOWN - A representative of UK-based judicial rights group Casisa, Justin Lewis, has claimed that South African judges are being misled in order to facilitate de facto money laundering through the legalisation of “invisible international loans”.
This after Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said at a press briefing that the judiciary wants evidence that will make it realise the nature and extent of the alleged courts’ capture.
In an emailed submission to the Office of the Chief Justice, Lewis outlines details of a 14-year-old case study showing the effect of this form of corruption on foreign investors’ security of their investments in South Africa.
The details of the study are also encapsulated in a report submitted to a Western Cape High Court case. This submission arose at the request of Lloyds UK as a result of alleged insurance fraud with alleged losses of about $200million (R3billion).
“I was requested to assist Lloyds with an investigation on how this alleged loss was possible as it was facilitated by the court-led liquidation industry,” said Lewis.
The Casisa representative also highlighted a second case study examining the effects of this form of alleged corruption on individual UK investors in South Africa that was undertaken in 2013. The purpose of this study, according to Lewis, was to observe the practices used to allegedly facilitate “fraud by law” by withholding evidence, without which the evidence placed before the courts was misleading, as well as the alleged acceptance by bank representatives of mandates with the potential to facilitate fraud.
The beneficiary of this second case was a prominent Stellenbosch-based businessperson, relating to the sale of a farm in Franschhoek.
In emailed correspondence, Allister Slingers, the director of executive support services at the Office of the Chief Justice, acknowledged receipt of Lewis’s submission. “I hereby acknowledge receipt of your email. It has been referred to the unit dealing with complaints addressed to the Chief Justice.”
Lewis is one of two parties that have so far submitted documents to the Office of the Chief Justice containing such evidence.
Businessperson Motsile Rahube told Chief Justice Mogoeng at the press briefing that he had evidence and submitted a set of documents outlining alleged judicial wrong-doing. Mogoeng urged the media to obtain a copy of the document to examine it for themselves.
In his documents, Rahube explains how he had been in and out of court, dealing with attorneys and various government and political authorities as well as administrative heads to try and resolve the illegal take-over of his business without success.
Rahube details how he sought funding from the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) for the purchase of an existing business that retailed in agricultural produce in Polokwane. “After receipt of funding, there were certain challenges within the business which I attended to, including fraud by previous owners.”
He said the previous owners were still running the business on behalf of the NEF’s trustees and office bearers, even after paying almost R100million to buy the business. The NEF was briefed on developments.
Rahube said that he was particularly concerned about any influence that the NEF might have on the court staff, the court registrars, as well as on the staff of the Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, particularly the Internal Audit and Forensic Unit, as well as the Court Administration Services.
The veracity of the claims contained in the documents, seen by Independent Media, is yet to be tested.