The Department of Justice has suspended two senior officials in the Pretoria Master’s Office, pending investigations into their roles in the appointment of liquidators of corruption-accused group of companies African Global Operations, previously Bosasa.

The suspensions of chief director and former acting chief master Theresia Bezuidenhout and deputy master Christene Rossouw were affected earlier in September after both were provided with an opportunity to give reasons why they should not be suspended, reports News 24.

Bezuidenhout was suspended for testifying against the department in an arbitration matter with another employee, which resulted – the department claims – in the reinstatement of the official. 

She is also accused of instructing other officials to appoint certain liquidators in the Bosasa matter, while Rossouw is accused of effecting the appointments of the liquidators. 

Department spokesperson Steve Mahlangu confirmed the suspensions.

John Walker, who is representing both Bezuidenhout and Rossouw, said his clients had no comment at this stage.

In correspondence with the DoJ, Walker described as ‘contrived and fallacious’ the belief that Bezuidenhout would interfere with investigations that were underway.

Walker also said that Bezuidenhout had been subpoenaed to appear before the arbitration proceedings of the other official, and that she had acted correctly.

Rossouw, meanwhile, was accused of failing to disclose her role in the appointment of Bosasa’s liquidators.

Walker, on Rossouw’s behalf, submitted that she had been interviewed by the SIU and had responded to questions posed to her.

The further appointment of the same liquidators in August 2020, Walker said, was brought about by a court order the liquidators obtained for the liquidation of two of the companies to be consolidated.

Full News24 report