The problem with lying

Staff Writer | Apr 27, 2019
The problem with lying is the difficulty of remembering what lie you told and when you told it.

By now South Africa will know that President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted the recommendations of the “Report by the Enquiry into the fitness of Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba and Advocate Lawrence Sithembiso Mrwebi to hold office of Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions and Special Director of Public Prosecutions Respectively".

Much will be said and written about the epoch, but there are a couple of interesting points to note from the President’s letters to Jiba and Mrwebi. 

Ramaphosa writes that one of the findings made against Jiba by the Panel was that Jiba lied to Ramaphosa himself. In her submissions to the Panel on 18 August 2018, she indicated that she appointed prosecutors from outside KZN in the Booysen matter, on the request of the acting DPP of KZN. However, in her statement under oath before the Panel she had said that this was not the case.

Johan Booysen was the senior police officer wrongly accused of operating a “death squad” in Cato Manor, KZN.

With respect to Mrwebi, Ramaphosa referenced the Panel’s findings that there were contradictions in his testimony; Mrwebi lied about the date on which he prepared the consultative note dealing with the withdrawal of charges of against Richard Mdluli. 

Richard Mdluli was the Head of Crime Intelligence during the Zuma years who was charged by the NPA with corruption and murder.

The stark lesson in all this? If you are going to lie, you need an excellent memory. Otherwise you’re likely to forget the lies you told.


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