Former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi and his wife, Pinny Morupisi’s desperate attempt to be absolved of corruption charges hit a snag last week after Justice Mokwadi Gabanagae dismissed their plea for a no case to answer.
Morupisi’s hope for a favourable ruling waned as his lawyer Busang Manewe shook his head in reaction to Justice Gabanagae’s unforgiving 32-page ruling that punched holes into the defence’s case.
“It is in evidence that in terms of the code of conduct for all BPOPF trustees, they are all bound to declare any conflict of interest. Accused one (Morupisi) never declared any conflict of interest,” reads the ruling in part.
Seemingly pinning Morupisi to the crime, the judge further questioned the former PSP’s narration of events as to how he paid for the customized Toyota Land Cruiser which is at the heart of the criminal case.
The judge cited that from the purported sale of agreement, Morupisi was to pay R40 000 yearly for seven years. “Interestingly despite the fact that the accused persons were to pay an amount of R40 000.00 yearly, accused one (Morupisi) started making frequent payments. The fact that the 1st accused paid R 630 988.99 for a second hand vehicle also presents a problem. Why did the 1st accused person pay this amount, which is the purchase price of a new vehicle?”, the judge wondered and added: “The Prosecution has led circumstantial evidence from which an inference could be drawn that the purported sale of the Land Cruiser was not legitimate, but probably proceeds of crime.”
Turning to Morupisi’s wife who had complained that she has had to sit in during trial while her name was never cited, the judge reminded her that she too has a lot of explaining to do with regards to how her company, R7 Group, which had no funds at the time was able to afford the vehicle.
“The sale agreement was signed by the 1st accused person on behalf of R7 Group (pty) Ltd when he was neither a director or shareholder or employee of the company, this lacking authenticity and enforceability in law. It is only the 1st accused person who can explain in what capacity he signed the agreement on behalf of R7 Group (Pty) Ltd,” the judge further ruled.
Justice Gabanagae further said Morupisi’s wife knew about the purported sale agreement. “She knew that the purported sale agreement was signed by her husband. She has to explain why her husband signed the agreement on behalf of the company. She has to explain why her company paid R630 988.00 to Manor Squad as full and final payment of the motor vehicle when the invoice to Manor Squad services for a second hand motor vehicle was R514 500.00.”
In the end the judge believes that Manor Squad services was used as a vehicle to conceal evidence that the true giver of the valuable consideration was CMB and that Morupisi actively participated in the plan for the benefit of himself and his wife.
Trial continues next year January 26 (2021).