Community Safety MEC shocked by granting of bail to Al Noor orphanage owner
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Cape Town – Western Cape Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz has expressed concern over the granting of bail to Al Noor Child and Youth Care Centre owner Amina Okpara.
A court watching brief has been instituted by the Department of Community Safety to ensure that due process is followed in subsequent hearings, Fritz said on Wednesday.
Okpara was freed on R5 000 bail despite State prosecutors insisting that she was a flight risk as her husband allegedly flew to Nigeria after the orphanage was shut down.
She was arrested by the Hawks on June 15 for having allegedly stolen donations and funding provided to the Woodstock-based orphanage. She faces three counts of contravention of the Immigration Act and a charge of fraud.
Additionally, Al Noor’s facility manager, Nkululeko Mboniswa, will appear in court in September on two charges of assault, sexual assault and the grooming of a child. He was released on R400 bail.
“Al Noor’s corrupt activities became apparent to me in early July as a fake document was circulated in my name whilst I served as the Minister of Social Development.
"This document constituted fraud and impersonation. I did not ‘give direction’ as stated in the document to support a holiday programme facilitated by Al-Noor Orphanage," Fritz said.
“It is my understanding that she will appear in court again in November. The Department of Community Safety will continue to monitor this matter through its court watching brief to ensure that due process is followed,” said Fritz.
“I commend the Department of Social Development for having deregistered Al Noor and ensuring that it can no longer legally operate as a CYCC.
"The appeal authority is Minister of Social Development Sharna Fernandez, who will consider all the facts in the matter and make a decision.”