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Justices Kollapen and Mlambo approached Zondo when Abramjee SMS scandal was revealed

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency ( ANA)

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency ( ANA)

Published Jun 2, 2022

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Johannesburg - Days after Ismail Abramjee texted Parliament’s counsel about leaked information he had "on good authority", Justice Jody Kollapen disclosed his association with the self-claimed legal expert.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Chief Justice on Thursday, Kollapen informed CJ Raymond Zondo and other Justices of the Constitutional Court that he had known Abramjee for many years and they live in the same area.

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Zondo said that Kollapen also informed them that he and Abramjee were members of the Pretoria Legacy Foundation and that they do interact with each other, including by calling each other.

The CJ’s statement followed a briefing by the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on an preliminary investigation conducted by her office which revealed 18 calls exchanged between Abramjee and one phone number registered under the name Narandran Kollapen.

Mkhwebane’s office conducted a preliminary investigation, out of its own initiative, after her application was postponed in the High Court in April when it was revealed that Abramjee sent an SMS to Parliament’s counsel, advocate Andrew Breitenbach SC, saying the public protector would lose the application.

According to Mkhwebane’s report, an analysis of the cellphone data received from network providers showed that 18 telephone calls were exchanged between the two from January 4 to April 22, 2022 two days before Adv Breitenbach SC received the controversial SMS.

Mkhwebane said the motive behind the unsolicited SMSes sent by Abramjee to Breitenbach was “emblematic of a nefarious intention and effort to commit a criminal conduct” and she called on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and Hawks to investigate the matter.

According to the Office of the CJ, Kollapen also pointed out that Abramjee attended a function sometime in March this year which was organised by the Pretoria Legacy Foundation. The function was held in Justice Kollapen’s honour. Zondo said that Justice Mlambo informed him and other Justices of the Constitutional Court that he, too, attended the same function.

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Mlambo told them that he was meeting Abramjee for the first time at that function and had never met him thereafter.

“Both Justices also stated that they never disclosed to Mr Abramjee any confidential information concerning any case at the Court,” Zondo said.

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