Fraud: DA leader’s bid paused
HIGH court applications by an Msunduzi Municipality DA councillor and a medical doctor to permanently stay their prosecutions on charges of defrauding the Road Accident Fund (RAF), have been adjourned.
The matters, brought separately by Naleni Atwaru and the doctor, Terrence Govender, came before the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday where they were postponed to September 14, for argument.
The two are alleged to have defrauded the fund of around R800 000.
Atwaru, according to court papers, faces 36 counts of defrauding the RAF between 2006 and 2009.
The charges arose after the RAF appointed a team of forensic investigators to investigate all claims submitted by Atwaru’s then law firm, AtwaruNaidu and Associates. This followed complaints that her firm lodged claims on behalf of people who denied having instructed her to do so, or that they were involved in the car accidents concerned.
Atwaru said in an affidavit that since her arrest and prosecution, several of her “fair trial rights” have been infringed. These include her right to have her trial start and finish “without unreasonable delay” and to information that was necessary for her to prepare her defence.
She maintains that the only appropriate remedy for the “egregious infringement” of her fair trial rights will be an order staying the criminal prosecution against her permanently.