Johannesburg - IT took former Correctional Services boss Linda Mti almost two hours to allow the Hawks to execute the initial process of his arrest after charges of contravention of the public finance management act (PFMA) and corruption.
Mti was officially charged with contravention of the PFMA and corruption just before 13:30 pm after he had voluntarily handed himself over to the Hawks for arrest.
State prosecutor Adv Sindi Nkula-Nyoni did not oppose bail. The court heard that Mti heard about his imminent arrest on Wednesday after a SMS was sent to his wife’s cellphone by one of the investigators.
As he was in Port Elizabeth at the time, the court heard, he immediately contacted the officers with the intention to hand himself over.
Early on Thursday morning, Mti boarded a flight at the Port Elizabeth International Airport. It took him an hour to arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport. At about 10:15, he drove from OR Tambo directly to the Hawks headquarters in Pretoria Central where he handed himself over for arrest. At the Hawks offices, the investigators had to take a warning statement and conduct his formal arrests.
Hawks investigators, also had to undertake DNA tests on Mti. This evidence gathering method was not conducted by other accused who has faced similar offences.
According to insiders, it took Mti two hours to complete the process at the Hawks headquarters before he was transported to the Pretoria Commercial Crime Unit for his first appearance.
He arrived in court just after 1pm. Dressed elegantly, he walked slowly to Court 19 accompanied by his legal representative and some of the Hawks investigators. Inside the court, Mti had to initial his sworn affidavit as required by any accused person facing a Schedule Five offence. He was required to give finer details which would allow him, without any opposition, to be released on bail.
Mti, through his legal counsel Adv SW van der Merwe, told the court that he was married and has an immovable property with R5 million. He also told the court that he had movable in excess of R1m. Mti also admitted that he has a previous conviction of drunken driving in 2009 where he paid a fine of R20 000.
Adv Van der Merwe did not reveal details of his client’s Schedule 5 application as the State had already indicated that they had no difficulties in granting him bail.
After his brief appearance which lasted just over 10 minutes, Mti was escorted back to the holding cells while his lawyer drove to the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court to pay for his bail of R20 000.
Adv Van Der Merwe managed to pay for bail soon after the Magistrate’s Court opened after lunch.
Mti is due back on March 27. He would join his co-accused who include Angello Aggrizi and four others.
The seventh suspect is still believed to be in the US. Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said plans were underway to bring the suspect back to South Africa.