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Trifecta corruption charges untrue, court hears

Kimberley - Trying to stick corruption charges in the Trifecta matter on Northern Cape ANC member Yolanda Botha is “a bridge too far”, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Judge Mathebe Phatshoane was hearing argument in an acquittal application in the fraud and corruption trial of Botha, other Northern Cape African National Congress heavyweights John Block and Alvin Botes, and Trifecta director Christo Scholtz.

Fraud and corruption accused Yolanda Botha. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: INLSA

The Trifecta Group allegedly entered into a number of lease agreements with the Northern Cape government in which rentals, or rental space, were grossly inflated.

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

Botha's lawyer Anwar Albertus submitted Botha disputed she received “gratification” from Trifecta to act illegally.

Albertus argued the State had not established fraud on Botha's part.

“She no longer served as an official. So that particular requirement the State must prove? It was not met.”

Albertus submitted there were enough facts in the matter to cast “reasonable doubt” on the links that had to be established in alleged corruption.

“The State has dismally failed to satisfy the requirements of a corruption charge.”

Albertus argued that if a loan from Trifecta to Botha was “gratification” for and from illegal activities the court should ask why she used her own money to add to her house renovations.

He further argued the State could not prove the money for Botha was from illegal income, because the loan was recorded legally sound in the company's books.

“The State knows that. They were very creative, very imaginative with their allegations against accused eight [Botha],” said Albertus.

The State would also argue in the acquittal application on Wednesday.

The case continues. - Sapa

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