Curator ordered to release money for alleged fraudster’s legal bills

2012-12-06 00:00

THE curator appointed to secure the assets of alleged tender crook Jabulani Mabaso has been ordered to release money to pay his legal bills.

Judge Fikile Mokgohloa consented to an application by Mabaso (43) for access to funds currently being safeguarded by curator Trevor White of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

No cap was put on the amount Mabaso could request, but Mokgohloa stipulated the legal expenses had to be “reasonable” and monitored by the KZN Law Society. Mabaso was awarded costs for the application.

At the same time Mokgohloa granted White permission to sell one of seven properties in Mabaso’s name. The house is in Oak Park, Pietermaritzburg.

The matters were part heard in Pietermaritzburg in October. Proceedings continued in the high court in Durban yesterday.

Mabaso has been fighting for the last year to have money released to prepare for his trial in January.

He is accused of defrauding the provincial Education Department to the tune of R200 million. His former company, Indiza Infrastructure Solutions, was contracted to supply the department with textbooks and stationery.

Mabaso was allegedly in cahoots with Pam Bosman-Zulu, the department’s former chief financial officer. Together they face charges of corruption, forgery, fraud and money laundering.

Mabaso’s assets were “restrained” in September 2009 following an application by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. A sum of R654 543 was released to him at the time to fund his defence.

Last December he asked the court for R4 million to pay for mounting legal bills. The application was dismissed.

He then started a fresh court challenge, seeking a contribution to his legal costs from the curator while asking for White to be removed from office. Mabaso abandoned the second part of the application and was yesterday permitted access to funds from the estate.

His and Bosman-Zulu’s trial is scheduled to run for about four weeks, starting on January 28.

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