Key fraud witness freed on bail

2011-10-18 00:00

A KEY state witness in a multi-million rand fraud racket who now faces a charge of forgery was granted bail at the Empangeni Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Allen Langton (41) was arrested on October 7 at the high court in Pietermaritzburg moments before he was to testify against businessman Mthokozisi Nxumalo and his wife, Hlengiwe, and suspended Social Development official Bhekuzalo Khuzwayo, who allegedly defrauded the Social Development Department of R14,6 million between 2007 and 2010.

Langton is charged with forgery. He allegedly sent a fax to the First National Bank branch in Richards Bay pretending to be Hlengiwe, requesting financial records of Nxumalo’s Richards Bay-based company, Andisa Unathi Investments (AUI).

In the fax presented to the court, Langton, who was one of a dozen employees of AUI between July 2009 and early 2011, allegedly asked for records using a company letterhead and Hlengiwe’s forged signature.

The state alleges Langton is linked to the fax through an 086 number (fax to e-mail number) printed on the letterhead.

But Magistrate Carl Zaayman said the state has not proved that the 086 number belongs to Langton and had not sent the signature for handwriting analysis.

“Lots of people had access to this letterhead; therefore on what basis was the accused pointed out [as the suspect]? We cannot hold him in custody and then investigate.”

Bail of R1 500 was granted and the case postponed until November 30.

• zulunews2@feveronline.co.za

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