Mpisane will plead not guilty

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IOL  ND MPISANE2 INLSA Businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane is on trial for fraud.

Durban - Businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane told the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday she would plead not guilty to 53 charges of fraud, forgery, and uttering.

Mabongi Flora-Junior "Shauwn" Mpisane is accused of submitting false documents to obtain Construction Industry Development Board gradings, which were then used to obtain public works department tenders worth R140 million.

In a statement read to the court by her lawyer Jimmy Howse, Mpisane accused the State of repeatedly "investigating the same issues and bringing up new charges based on similar facts".

She said the R140m related to five tenders. One of these was a R69m tender where no payment was made and no work started. Therefore, nobody had suffered a loss.

She said three of the tenders referred to by the prosecution had  been completed by her close corporation Zikhulise to the satisfaction of the public works department, which now owned the buildings. She believed the value of the buildings exceeded the tender price.

"There is simply no way the department of public works was prejudiced," she said.

Earlier this week, the Asset Forfeiture Unit seized her property  and 51 cars, according to The Daily News.

Prosecutor Joanne Bromley-Gans said the State opposed granting Mpisane bail as she was already out on bail when some of the alleged offences were committed.

Bromley-Gans said there was a likelihood Mpisane could commit further offences if out on bail.

She alleged that Mpisane had interfered with a witness in another matter.

Investigating officer Colonel Kubendren Naidoo told the court the State's case was "90 percent complete".

Mpisane will also stand trial in May, on accusations that she inflated invoices by more than R5m to cut her tax bill.

Magistrate Gerrie Maree said he would make a decision on bail on Friday, but allowed Mpisane to spend Thursday night at home as the State had conceded she was not a flight risk and had handed herself over to the police. - Sapa



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