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NEDBANK ESWATINI BUSINESSMAN PATRICK NXUMALO’S R4MILLION HOUSE ‘GRABBING’ SCANDAL:Lawyer John Henwood appeared before Law Society,Chairman Zweli Jele recused himself.

Saturday, 2nd March, 2024

MBABANE: Zweli Jele,the senior Partner at Robison Bertram and Chairperson of the Law Society of Swaziland(LSS) recused himself in a matter where Pado Constrution Director Patrick Nxumalo reported lawyer John Henwood for allegedly colluding with Nedbank Eswatini officials and using alleged corrupt means to buy his R4million house in the capital city-Mbabane.

Jele allegedly agreed to recuse himself to avoid a conflict of interest as he is alleged to have handled the matter in other forums,the request for recusal was made by Patrick Nxumalo.

Reached for comments on Saturday, the senior lawyer confirmed recusing himself in the matter as per Nxumalo’s request who was the complainant.

“He asked for my recusal and I agreed”, said the Senior lawyer.

Documents in our possession suggest that,on 30th June 2023, lawyer John Henwood filed an affidavit with the Law Society Disciplinary Tribunal, responding to Nxumalo’s allegations, he vigorously denied that he acted with a conflict of interest when purchasing the R4million house.

John Henwood was Patrick Nxumalo and Pado Construction’s lawyer but he later dumped him to represent Nedbank Eswatini before purchasing the house.

“Please find attached hereto my affidavit in response to Mr Patrick Nxumalo’s complaint.I have attempted to address every aspect of the allegation as clearly and concisely as possible.I note that the matter is one as between the Law Society, the Complainant and myself yet the Ombudsman of the Central Bank of Eswatini has been copied in the complaint.I trust that because they are in possession of the Complainant’s version, the Law Society will also take it upon themselves to provide the Ombudsman with this affidavit”, reads a letter from lawyer John Henwood addressed to  Zweli Jele, the Chairperson of the Law Society of Eswatini.

Lawyer Henwood was contacted by this publication for a comment on Friday evening and he claimed he was rushing into a meeting.

“Unfortunately,I’m rushing into a meeting hence I can’t speak”,said the lawyer.

Patrick Nxumalo,the once successful Director of Pado Construction accuses lawyer John Henwood of colluding with Nedbank Eswatini officials including Managing Director(MD) Fikile Nkosi to buy his house worth R4million.

 Reached for comments by this Swaziland News,Fikile Nkosi, Nedbank Eswatini Managing Director(MD) referred questions to Mpendulo Shongwe,the Head of Legal Affairs,she then wondered why Nxumalo was still pursuing the matter as it was handled by the Ombudsman.

“Good afternoon Mr Dlamini,I’m not in the country neither in SA but Ashanti but do speak to our legal and credit guy Mpendulo Shongwe.Ufunani uMnguni ngobe sewahamba yonkhe indzawo still talking to this matter even the Ombudsman heard the matter and ruled on it?”, said the Nedbank Eswatini Managing Director.

Efforts to reach Mpendulo Shongwe, the Nedbank Head of Legal Affairs proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report. 

On another note,the Central Bank SNG Grant Thornton report concluded that,the Central Bank as the regulator of financial institutions, must consider reffering the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC) for further investigation.

“CBE should consider referring the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation in order to determine possible collusion between Nedbank officials and representatives of the bank’s sales agent and legal agent.CBE should engage Nedbank on controls, the bank has to put in place to monitor relationships of their employees and/or agents in instances where the bank instituted legal action against its customers to recover monies loan to parties in respect of properties”, reads the report in part.

NEDBANK ESWATINI BUSINESSMAN PATRICK NXUMALO’S R4MILLION HOUSE ‘GRABBING’ SCANDAL:Lawyer John Henwood appeared before Law Society,Chairman Zweli Jele recused himself.
Law Society Chairman Zweli Jele(pic: ZJele Facebook).