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Top Joburg prosecutor in trouble for allegedly promoting xenophobia and racism

Refugees occupied the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town in 2019. They said they had enough of Xenophobia from South African people. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Refugees occupied the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town in 2019. They said they had enough of Xenophobia from South African people. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 5, 2021


A TOP Joburg prosecutor, Advocate Pumeza Futshane, who accused foreign nationals of plotting to poison and kill South Africans, will know her fate soon following disciplinary charges brought against her by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

On the main count, the NPA alleged that Futshane posted on the NPA’s official WhatsApp group named “JHP EXCO” a post on September 3 and 4, 2019, titled “Attention ALL South Africans”.

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One of the excerpts stated: “A leak has revealed that foreign shop owners are planning to poison all South Africans through the products they sell in their shops. The poison is aimed at revenging themselves upon the xenophobic attacks throughout the country against them.

“The poison will be untraceable and is meant to be a slow killer. Warn your family members, children, neighbours, friends and colleagues to no longer buy any products owned by foreign nationals …”

Futshane also alleged that the same foreign nationals were tired of paying bribes allegedly to law enforcement and had allegedly resorted to raping children.

She also allegedly accused a Nigerian national of being involved in the brutal murder of two women and a man.

Futshane, it is alleged, said the three were killed on the top floor of a residential building on September 4, 2019.

She also allegedly accused one of the prosecutors at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court of colluding with four magistrates to rape her.

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Other charges included telling her fellow senior prosecutor, who had applied for the chief prosecutor’s job, that the NPA had overlooked her “because she was a member of the DA party and could not be trusted”. She also allegedly accused the prosecutor and her husband of taking bribes from Nigerians and then building an upmarket house in the south of Joburg.

In the charge sheet, the NPA said Futshane authorised an internal investigation into the allegations to determine if the couple could afford such a house, but the prosecuting authority said Futshane had abused her powers and wasted state resources. There were no criminal proceedings pending against the prosecutor and her husband.

She also allegedly called one of Soweto’s longest-serving senior public prosecutors in a management meeting a “wit wolf” and a member of the “Boeremag”.

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The prosecuting authority also said Futshane posted on the same WhatsApp group on September 19 a flyer promoting an ANC Johannesburg regional event despite being a senior employee of the NPA.

She also posted on October 23, 2019 an image of former mayor Herman Mashaba wearing EFF regalia and made derogatory comments about his affiliation with the political party.

In supporting the charges, the NPA argued that her conduct threatened the political independence of the institution.

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The pending judgment followed her failed attempt to ask the Labour Court in October to block the NPA from pursuing disciplinary action. She wanted the court to order the NPA to start the disciplinary proceedings against her afresh. At the time of the court application, the NPA had already concluded leading evidence against her.

In his ruling, dated November 3, Judge TT Phehane said: “In my view, the applicant (Futshane) approached this court with the objective of frustrating and attempting to delay the hearing that was under way as she was unhappy with the decision of the chairperson to refuse (a) postponement.”

Futshane was ordered to pay costs to the NPA.

Asked to comment on a possible judgment date, NPA Joburg spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said: “As a matter of principle, the NPA does not comment or ventilate its internal processes in the media.”

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