Lawyer refutes Trifecta evidence

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Danie Van der Lith

Seen here are some of the files that will be used as evidence in the Trifecta court case. Picture: Danie Van der Lith

Kimberley - Evidential documents the State is relying on in the Trifecta fraud trial are wrong, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

“That page only contains signatures, that does not represent allegations. You agree with me?,” Jaap Cilliers, legal counsel to Trifecta, asked a State witness.

State witness PWC forensic auditor Trevor White confirmed the submission.

Judge Mathebe Phatshoane was hearing evidence in a fraud and corruption case against Northern Cape ANC heavyweights John Block, Alvin Botes, Yolanda Botha and Trifecta director Christo Scholtz.

Cilliers questioned White on charge 14, a fraud charge against a Trifecta company, and Botha in relation to a lease agreement of the Du Toitspan Building in Kimberley.

“The State relies on a document that does not address the issues. I cannot see any suggestion ...pertaining to 1/8whether 3/8 the price was fair or market-related,” argued Cilliers.

Trifecta's legal counsel continued to indicate that many of the documents supporting the State's allegation on charge 14 were wrong or lacking.

Most of this was confirmed by the State witness.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) alleges the Trifecta Group entered into a number of lease agreements with the Northern Cape social development department in which rentals, or rental space, were grossly inflated.

The accused have all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them or their companies.

On Wednesday, the State objected to the way Cilliers was questioning it witness when he did not agree with the defence's submissions.

“I wonder if you agree, whether you woke up this morning. You are scared the State looks bad in the situation,” Cilliers put to White.

Prosecutor Peter Serunye objected to this line of questioning.

“The defence has used words towards the witness which are totally unacceptable in describing the witness.”

Serunye asked Cilliers to respect the witness.

Cilliers apologised, saying he had become frustrated with an obstructive witness.

Earlier, White had objected to the line of questioning being put to him.

“It is expected from me to confirm submissions on small aspects (in documents), while the documents form part of a bigger set of facts,” he said.

The court will not sit on Thursday and Friday. It was decided earlier that it would adjourn on Wednesday for Botha and Block to attend the opening of Parliament.

Sapa


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