54 million fraud accused cries bankruptcy, accuses state of delaying tactics

 

Fraud accused, Brendan Ruth Moshabane has told the court that she is broke and does not think she will be able to continue with her trial if the state continues with its never-ending postponements.

The 42-year old appeared briefly in the Specialised Crimes Court on 3 October. State prosecutor, Advocate Bongani Chauke requested a further postponement of two weeks, this time to allow him to go through a huge pile of files which among other include bank statements. The defence objected to the postponement, citing that the case was already draining the accused financially. The state has frozen all her assets, making it difficult to cover her legal expenses.

Chauke, however, told the court that the defence must not mix up matters. He explained the freezing of assets was a civil matter in the High Court while what was dealt with in the Specialised Crimes Court was a criminal matter. The prosecutor also told the court that the defence was making a fuss over money allegedly obtained unlawfully.

Her lawyers are currently trying to have some of her monies released, to cover for her living and legal expenses. Defence attorney Pierre Smit told Northcliff Melville Times that he feels that the state is just dragging its feet in the matter because it looks like they are not sure what to do with the case. He also indicated that they have not been provided with the charge sheet, nor an indication as to when they will be furnished with one.

Smit also expressed disappointment as to why the state is objecting to Moshabane’s application for living and legal expenses.

Moshabane is currently out on R200 000 bail.

The state alleges that she stole R54 million from her then employer MTN by transferring money from the employer’s accounts to her own personal accounts under the pretence that she was paying MTN service providers.

Magistrate Benita Oswell granted the postponement. The case will be back in the Specialised Crimes Court on 19 October.

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  AUTHOR
Belinda Pheto

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