"The state's evidence is of such poor quality that it cannot be relied upon. In other words, there is no sufficient evidence upon which the court, acting carefully, may convict the accused". This was an argument advanced by advocate Tshepiso Mphahlane on Friday in defence of former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini, who faces a charge of perjury.
Maphahlane told the Johannesburg magistrate's court that his client should be acquitted after cross-examining a witness brought by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Prosecutor Jacob Serope said the state would need sufficient time to consider the request.
Magistrate Betty Khumalo postponed the case to December 10 to allow the state to respond.
Former SA Social Security Agency CEO and acting director-general Thokozani Magwaza was a critical witness at an inquiry Instituted by the Constitutional Court in 2018, into the payments fiasco at SASSA, which found that Dlamini lied under oath.
Magwaza, who is the only witness took the stand and told the court that he had a cordial relationship with Dlamini but on some occasions they had differences. This included concerns which he flagged in writing about the minister's workstream, which saw SASSA being compromised as staff had to directly report to her.
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