PICS: State opposes bail of Al-Noor boss as she is a ‘flight risk’
Amani Fonguh Okpara, also known as Amiena Madien, 49, originally from Cameroon, faces charges of fraud, corruption and defeating the ends of justice, brought against her.
Okpara is accused of stealing donations to the orphanage by redirecting the money to her personal bank account.
Last week, the court heard charges of sexual assault may be brought against her and her husband pending an investigation by the Hawks.
This after the Department of Social Development removed 17 children and shut down the facility two weeks ago.
State Prosecutor, Adiel Jansen, said they were opposing bail as Okpara is a flight risk.
“We have recently received information she is planning to skip the country. According to my witnesses, the accused is not as sickly as she appears to be,” Jansen submitted.
Her lawyer, Andre Johnston, claimed his client suffered a brain haemorrhage which resulted in a stroke in 2017.
He admitted that Okpara was previously convicted for fraud at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court in 2017 for which she received a non-custodial sentence.
“My client owns fixed property in South Africa which is bonded. She has two children, 19 and five years old. I am in possession of her passport. The court has to take into account her medical state. It would probably take the accused three weeks to get to the airport,” Johnston said.
But Jansen argued that there were questions around her citizenship.
“All her property and vehicles are based on fraud as well her corrupt dealing with Home Affairs officials and SAPS,” Jansen said.
The matter has been postponed till 11 July for bail application.
Outside court, several children came out to support Okpara, waving placards that read “No love like Al-Noor” and “I live since baby at Al-Noor my only home’.
The Daily Voice asked a young girl whether she missed the orphanage: “No aunty, we live in Langa, we’re going to McDonald’s after this.”