Former attorney and EFF leader accused of R700k theft from six injured RAF claimants to stand trial

Former EFF North West chairperson Betty Diale. Picture: Itumeleng English

Former EFF North West chairperson Betty Diale. Picture: Itumeleng English

Published Mar 3, 2023


Pretoria – A former attorney accused of stealing R700 000 belonging to injured Road Accident Fund (RAF) claimants will stand trial at the Rustenburg Regional Court in June.

The pretrial conference was completed on Friday and the State has provided former attorney Betty Diale with all the necessary documents in preparation for her trial.

Diale, 52, indicated to the court that she will be representing herself.

Her matter will be heard from June 21 to 22.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in North West division Henry Mamothame said Diale faces six charges of theft amounting to about R700 000, allegedly stolen from RAF claimants.

“Police reports reveal that Fidelity Funds, a body that oversees the conduct of attorneys, received several complaints from the RAF claimants, whose payments were deposited into Diale's trust account.

“The claimants alleged that the said money did not reach them, after the payout, and henceforth reported to the police for investigation,” said Mamothame.

Diale was practising as an attorney during the alleged commission of the crimes between 2009 and 2011 and was subsequently charged with six counts of theft in June 2021.

The Legal Practice Council has struck her off the roll, preventing her from practising as an attorney.

Meanwhile, the EFF in the North West has fired Diale as the party’s chairperson.

Provincial secretary Papiki Babuile said Diale had been replaced as an MPL, but her removal had nothing to do with her criminal trial.

“She was redeployed to the Rustenburg Local Municipality as part of strengthening our caucus.

“The case started before the establishment of the EFF, and it has been dragging for all these years.

“We are allowing the court to deal with the matter, and once concluded, we will pronounce our action,” Babuile said.