Defence in R85m SAPS tender fraud case want matter struck off roll
Pretoria - The legal teams representing the 72 accused persons and companies linked to the manipulation of the SAPS procurement processes to the tune of R85 million (R56 million for vehicle markings and R29 million for cover quoting) are demanding the matter to be struck off the court roll due to unreasonable delays by the state.
The defence requested the action despite the state’s indication that it was ready to proceed with setting a trial date for six months time.
State Prosecutor Tilas Chabalala indicated that the state was finally ready to proceed with the trial for a date in August or September.
The only outstanding matters being for the state to apply for correction of the charge sheet as it had over 600 pages and they were currently only in possession of a draft charge sheet.
Chabalala said that they were also awaiting a certificate for charges of racketeering as they could only prefer the charges upon authorisation by the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
While at the same time applications were still to be brought before the court to have the matter transferred to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria for finalisation of the charge sheet and deal with those accused who want to apply for a separation.
Chabalala stressed however that despite that the state is ready to proceed with the matter, they could not rule out the possibility of further arrests being made as “investigations into criminal matters are never complete as things could come up during or after the trial.”
The 15 defence teams however clung to magistrate Thandi Theledi’s previous ruling that the matter would only be postponed for further investigations for the last time.
They further argued that in fact, the state was being malicious as it was requesting another postponement as a back door for further investigations.
As it stood now the defence said their client's lives had been adversely affected by the ongoing case and were subjected to intense and negative media scrutiny which had since followed their arrests.