Mabaso to ask for all charges to be dropped

2013-02-22 00:00

LAWYERS for KwaZulu-Natal businessman and fraud accused Jabulani Mabaso are expected to argue on Monday that the high court in ­Pietermaritzburg should grant him a discharge on all 18 charges facing him.

The application did not proceed as planned yesterday due to technical hitches concerning the funding of Mabaso’s defence.

His attorney, Rudi Krause, told

Acting Judge Kobus Booyens that it had been discovered that — for various legal reasons — practical effect could not be given to a court order granted on December 5 last year by Judge Fikile Mokgohloa. The order permits Mabaso’s legal fees to be paid from assets which are currently under restraint by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Booyens afterwards granted an amended version of the court order that will overcome the difficulties.

Krause confirmed that the defence would be ready to proceed with the application they intend to bring for Mabaso’s discharge, this Monday.

If it is successful, then Mabaso could be acquitted of some or all charges against him at the end of the state case without being required to testify or call witnesses in his defence.

Mabaso pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial to 18 counts of fraud, forgery and uttering involving around R200 million.

The charges arise from a tender awarded to his company, Indiza Infrastructure Solutions, to source and supply stationery to schools in KZN between 2005 and 2007.

Mabaso said in a statement outlining his defence that he had always believed he was entitled to make a profit in terms of his agreement with the KZN Department of Eduction. He also denied knowledge of allegedly false supplier’s invoices being presented to the department.

The prosecution alleged, however, that Indiza was appointed as a “managing agent” for which the company was entitled to be paid a set fee, and that Mabaso was obliged to negotiate the lowest possible prices with suppliers and pass on discounts to the department.

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