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Warrant of arrest issued for former Rustenburg attorney facing theft charges

Published Sep 28, 2023


A warrant of arrest was issued for former attorney, Betty Diale, facing charges of theft relating to Road Accident Fund claims.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the Rustenburg Regional Court issued a warrant of arrest against her for failing to appear in court.

"The trial was set to start on 26 September 2023 and the accused provided no reasons to the court for her absence," said NPA spokesperson in the North West division Henry Mamothame.

He said all necessary documents were provided to Diale in preparation for trial, as she opted to represent herself.

"A new trial date will be set following her arrest."

She is facing six charges of theft, amounting to approximately R700,000, allegedly stolen from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) claimants, Mamothame said.

"Police reports reveal that the Legal Practice Fidelity Fund 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 subsequently reported to the police for investigation."

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.

Earlier this month, former Brits attorney, Louis Lourens was sentenced to five years direct imprisonment for theft of trust funds.

He was sentenced at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on September 7.

In 2016, Lourens, 50, was hired to assist community members in Brits to purchase properties.

Funds were reportedly transferred into his trust fund account. He used over R2 million for personal benefit.