The fraud trial of former Msunduzi deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe was postponed until March 11 by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court, the Witness newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Shelembe appeared in court along with his wife Joyful Shelembe and his sister Nelisiwe Shelembe on Monday. Other accused are businessman Lucky Moloi and bodyguard Themba Xaba.

According to the report Regional Court Magistrate Jaco Jordaan was told that another accused Mgungundlovu district councillor Themba Zungu had died.

Jordaan postponed the case to March 11 to allow for the appointment of a new prosecutor because the original prosecutor Rema Mahabeer had resigned from the National Prosecuting Authority to enter private practice.

They face charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering relating to the sale of a building in the Mgungundlovu district for office and parking space at an inflated price in 2003.

The State has alleged the three were instrumental in the negotiations, proposals and approval of the council's purchase of the property.

The initial price of the building, in central Pietermaritzburg, was R6 million.

However, during negotiations with one of the owners it was agreed to increase the amount by R1m, with the owners getting their original asking price and the remainder of the money to be shared among the councillors who “made the deal happen”.