12 officials in court for corruption

2011-09-12 15:04

Johannesburg - Twelve public prosecutors, lawyers, police officers and a businessman appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court, in Soweto, on graft charges on Friday, said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Nine of them were granted bail and would appear in court again with the others on November 11, said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga. The three not granted bail would also have to appear on September 16, he said.

They faced 40 charges, including corruption, conspiracy, uttering, racketeering and defeating the ends of justice between January 2009 and December 2010, he said.

Mhaga said the allegations related to several false cases opened against rivals of a man who ran a bakery business, apparently to eliminate competition from people who had left his company to start their own.

The police, prosecutors, attorneys and businessman were accused of colluding to open the false cases and of preventing those who were arrested from getting bail.

Mhaga said investigations were continuing and more arrests were expected.

"As the NPA we are disturbed, we have now over 24 prosecutors nationally that are facing several charges ranging from corruption to murder when we are expecting them to be upholding the law.

"We will allow the legal process to take its course though we are disappointed that it is one of our own," he said.