NPA response to Dave King's attack on Willie Hofmeyr

Mthunzi Mhaga says that open letter is false and misleading in numerous respects


We have noted the open letter written by Mr King and addressed to Mr Willie Hofmeyr (see version published on Moneyweb). It is not our intention to debate matters with Mr King in the media but to put matters in some perspective. His letter does not correctly record the facts and it is false and misleading in numerous respects.

This is not surprising, in view of the fact that Mr Justice Southwood and two assessors, sitting in the Income Tax Court, said of Mr King (see here) named as Mr N in the judgment available on the SARS website): "(it) was demonstrated that he deliberately misrepresented the facts of the case to his legal representatives, to SARS in correspondence and at the section 74C enquiry and to the representatives and solicitors of the Y Trust"

"As his evidence progressed it became clear that he has no respect for the truth and does not hesitate to lie or at least misrepresent the facts if he thinks it will be to his advantage. There can be little doubt that on most occasions Mr. N lied as he knew the correct facts and obviously decided to misrepresent these facts."

"We saw Mr. N testify in chief and in cross-examination for four days and are unanimous in finding that he is a mendacious witness whose evidence should not be accepted on any issue unless it is supported by documents or other objective evidence.

It was remarkable that Mr. N showed no sign of embarrassment or any emotion when he conceded that he had lied to the Commissioner in a number of his income tax returns.

In our assessment he is a glib and shameless liar."

The agreements concluded by Mr King with SARS and SARB were both subject to certain conditions and these conditions were not fulfilled. Therefore no final agreement therefore came into being with either SARS or SARB. Apart from pointing this out, we do not comment further on what Mr King says in regard to SARS and SARB. It is for those institutions to comment.

We are however, aware that SARS is proceeding to enforce judgments that it has for payment of outstanding taxes owing by companies associated with Mr King, it has already recovered millions of rand, it has attached assets of Quoin Rock Winery (Pty) Ltd, and it has now obtained a final winding up order against that company. The NPA never gave SARS and SARB a prior indication that the envisaged plea agreement would proceed to finality as Mr King alleges.

In terms of a High Court order dated 19 April 2010, which was granted with Mr King's consent, he is interdicted from disclosing to any person any communications, whether oral or in writing, between the National Director of Public Prosecutions, who was Adv Mokotedi Mpshe at the time and his representatives on the one hand, and Mr King and his representatives on the other, in the course of or connected to the plea and sentence negotiations between him and the NPA.

Mr King's "open letter" is written with blatant disregard for the High Court order, and we will be referring this to the appropriate authorities. Apart from the fact that Mr King is interdicted from disclosing the content of the plea and sentence negotiations, it was agreed with his senior counsel, who conducted all the negotiations on his behalf, that all the negotiations between the parties would be held on a confidential and without prejudice basis. The then Acting NDPP sought and obtained the interdict against Mr King because he had threatened to breach that agreement and disclose the content of the negotiations.

We are therefore unable to comment on the content of the plea and sentence negotiations, save for saying that the decisions taken by the NPA in regard to his plea proposals, and their rejection, were taken by the NPA executive committee, and not by Mr Hofmeyr alone.

Finally, Mr King's statement that would have no penalty if he committed fraud but would have severe penalties if he did not is wrong. As he knows many of the charges he faced provide for a minimum period of imprisonment of 15 years.

Statement issued by Adv Mthunzi Mhaga, NPA Spokesperson, July 20 2011

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter