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Pitermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal businessman Jabulani Mabaso pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of fraud and submitting forged invoices to claim hundreds of millions of rands from the provincial education department.
He tendered the same pleas for his company Indiza Infrastructure Solutions in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The 35-page indictment alleges that his company and subsidiaries won a tender to initially provide supplies and services to the department for its Learner-Teacher programme between 2005 and 2007.
A provision for the agreement was that discounts allowed Indiza and its subsidiaries to buy the stationery supplies that would be credited to the department.
Alleged false invoices were submitted to the department.
People who allegedly falsified figures in invoices, at the command of the accused, are expected to testify for the State. Mabaso is out on bail of R1 million.
Acting Judge Kobus Booyens is presiding over the matter, the lead State counsel is Advocate Wendy Greef and Advocate Willie Vermeulen SC is the defence counsel.
The case is expected to last weeks and thousands of pages of facts and figures are to be used in the trial. - Sapa