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KZN judge returns Sexwale shares

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Judge President Vuka Tshabalala said on Wednesday that he had returned all the shares in Absa Bank worth millions of rands, which were given to him by a consortium headed by businessman Tokyo Sexwale.

”I have returned the shares. That’s the end of the matter,” said Tshabalala.

The Mercury reported on Wednesday that the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) had ordered Tshabalala in 2007 to give back the shares because his acceptance of them was ”inappropriate” and could impact on perceptions of his impartiality.

KwaZulu-Natal businesswoman Manana Nhlanhla was tasked by Sexwale to coordinate the allocation of shares that his company, Batho Bonke, had bought from Absa.

”The JSC wanted an explanation and I sent them the brochure from Absa. I explained that I have never met Tokyo. These share were offered to me by a director of that company [Batho Bonke],” Tshabalala said on Wednesday afternoon.

”I told them [the JSC] that if that’s how you feel I will relinquish them. I got them in 2004, but the storm only started last year when Tokyo was aspiring to be president.”

Tshabalala said he had relinquished the shares in October.

It was not immediately clear why the JSC had not made its ruling on the issue public, but JSC spokesperson advocate Marumo Moerane told the Mercury that the commission had not made the 2007 decision public because Tshabalala had only ”orally informed” the chief justice that he had disposed of his shares, and written confirmation was required. — Sapa

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