Alleged conman in court over fake SANDF recruitment
THE MAN in the picture is Petrus Ndaba, 55, the alleged conman who lured 259 prospective young job-seekers from all over the country to Pretoria, saying they would be trained and then employed within the SANDF.
Clad in a blue suit, a weary-looking Ndaba walked up to the dock from the cells in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court yesterday. In the dock, his bravado and confidence surfaced, reassured by his supporters’ presence in the courtroom.
He waved and winked to the packed court, which consisted mostly of his supporters, dressed in traditional regalia.
During court proceedings he appeared undeterred as he stared at the magistrate. The magistrate, in some instances, had to quieten down the gallery when Ndaba’s defence read his affidavit.
Before the court went into recess, Ndaba raised a clenched fist and mumbled a few words to his supporters.
During the bail application, it emerged that Ndaba, sometimes referred to as “The General”, was in fact a former military private who served prison time for murder.
He joined the then South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1991.
He was stationed at 115 South African Infantry Battalion in Pretoria.
In 1992, he underwent basic military training and was appointed in the SADF in the rank of a private.
“The SANDF unequivocally wishes to state that the suspect was never at any stage during his short military career appointed in a rank of either an officer nor a general officer,” said the SANDF.
The court proceedings were a tug of war between the State and defence when affidavits were read out. Arguments for and against Ndaba lasted several hours.
State prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda maintained that Ndaba faced serious charges and was a flight risk, while his defence portrayed him as a victim who was also not well.
“Ndaba has friends in neighbouring countries like Namibia, and this makes him a flight risk,” said Sibanda.
His defence team, led by advocate Jurg Prinsloo, argued that he was sickly and needed proper healthcare, which could not be found in custody. He said his client suffered from severe diabetes.
In addition, Ndaba’s defence argued that he wasn’t a flight risk because he didn’t have a passport and all his assets were in the country.
SUPPORT: Petrus “The General” Ndaba in the dock at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court during his bail application.