Fraud: DA leader’s bid paused

The Witness - - NEWS - SHARIKA REGCHAND

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.

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