Judge calls Mangope a liar

TUESDAY, 9.00AM:

FORMER Bophuthatswana president Lucas Mangope, on trial on multiple counts of fraud and theft totalling over R18-million, was told in the Mmabatho High Court on Monday that he has been an unsatisfactory witness who gave “irrelevant, repetitive and extremely evasive evidence”, and who at times told outright lies that did his credibility no good.

Mangope is standing trial on some 184 charges of fraud, theft and foreign exchange control regulations. The charges arose following the findings of the Skweyiya commission, which probed embezzlement od public funds under Mangope’s administration. Mangope was recently arrested and released on R50000 bail on further fraud and theft charges that are not the subject of the current trial.

On Monday, about 1000 Mangope supporters were bused in to hear Judge Tom Mullins read his 260-page judgment.

On Monday, Judge Mullins told Mangope that it is evident he had “slipped naturally into an autocratic role” as president.
He added that it is the court’s role to establish whether Mangope’s actions constituted fraud or theft or whether he honestly believed he was entitled to do what he did. Judge Mullins added it is unfortunate that there was no crime of corruption in the law under which Mangope is being judged.

Judgment is expected to be completed on Tuesday.

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