Auctioneer’s PA: bail ruling next week

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Independent Newspapers

Cape Town - The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court will rule on Tuesday on a bail application brought by a mother of three awaiting sentence for embezzling money from prominent Cape Town auctioneer Julius Buchinsky.

Najwa Taliep, 49, was 83-year-old Buchinsky's personal assistant, defrauded the company of R961,081 over a two-year period.

She will be sentenced on 631 counts of fraud on January 20

Taliep was out on a warning, as opposed to bail, until she was found guilty last Friday by magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

At the time, the court rejected legal aid attorney Hailey Lawrence's request for the warning to be extended, pending the finalisation of the case.

Sonnenberg said at the time that Taliep had been out on warning, based on the presumption of innocence until convicted, but that now she had been found guilty, Taliep could no longer rely on the presumption.

Sonnenberg said: “She admitted that she committed fraud 631 times against an old man of 83.”

This meant that Taliep sometimes committed fraud up to four times a day, she said.

On Thursday, the Taliep family ended the legal aid attorney's mandate, and engaged privately funded lawyer William Booth.

In support of the application, Booth handed the court an affidavit in which Taliep said she had been diagnosed with chronic asthma, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and angina.

She said she now held a senior post with Bank on Assets, which provided short-term loans, and that she could return to her job if released on bail.

In Friday's proceedings, Sonnenberg said there was a dispute between prosecutor Zama Matayi and Booth about the bail application.

Matayi submitted that the proceedings amounted to a second bail application, which could be brought only on new facts, and that the facts presented by Booth were merely a rehash of those presented in Taliep's first bail application.

Sonnenberg said various legal authorities had different opinions about this matter and that she needed to research it further before making her decision.


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