Ex-PMB prosecutor on trial for corruption

2008-11-06 00:00

Despite his sudden unwillingness, a former public prosecutor will be subpoenaed to testify in a corruption trial about the attempts of a drug syndicate to undermine a court case.

Terrence Ncwane is one of the key figures in the corruption case, in which he and one of his seniors were apparently once offered up to R2 million and magistrate’s posts to ensure that three people were acquitted on charges relating to drugs worth R50 milllion.

Zandile Radebe (42), the controlling prosecutor of the magistrate’s court in Pietermaritzburg in February 2006 when she was arrested, has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption.

It was alleged that she received R39 000 from the drug syndicate and Ncwane R109 000.

Ncwane told the authorities of the attempted bribery, after which Radebe, Johannesburg attorney Frans Mashele, and his driver were arrested after a trap was set for them in Durban.

In terms of a plea agreement, Mashele earlier pleaded guilty. He was given a suspended sentence, and has to donate R500 000 to welfare.

Barend Groen, for the state, asked on Tuesday for the corruption trial to be adjourned so that a subpoena could be served on Ncwane to testify.

According to testimony in court, Ncwane said in a sworn statement that Radebe played an active part in the bribery.

Radebe argued that she unwittingly landed up in the drug syndicate’s web of bribery after several state witnesses were murdered.

This week Ncwane resigned unexpectedly from the public service, left the witness protection programme.

Now he no longer wishes to testify, Groen had told the court earlier.

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