Judge lambasts former Tigon bosses for wasting time

2011-03-18 00:00

“YOU’RE busy wasting time. I cannot allow this case to take up any more time.”

These were the words of Judge Geraldine Borchers to Sue Bennett and Gary Porritt in the high court in Johannesburg yesterday when they brought an application for the second public prosecutor, advocate Jan Ferreira, to withdraw from the case.

Porritt was the CEO of the Tigon group of companies and Bennett a co-director at the time of its collapse. Other companies under Porritt’s control were Synergy Management and Majorshelf.

The accused face more than 3 000 counts of fraud, theft, tax evasion and infringements of the Companies Act involving hundreds of millions of rands, detailed in a 1 400-page charge sheet.

Porritt and Bennett were arrested as far back as 2002 and 2003 respectively, and court proceedings have dragged on ever since because the two accused keep bringing new applications before the court or appealing against judgments.

The case even went to the appeal court when the Legal Aid Board (LAB) appealed against Borchers’s order for it to pay Porritt’s and Bennett’s legal costs, which could amount to about R60 million. The appeal court ruled in September last year that the LAB will not pay their legal costs, because the accused were not truthful when Borchers instituted an investigation to determine how indigent they are. The case continues.

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