Court rules emails admissable

2014-09-12 21:06
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Cape Town - A Cape Town court ruled on Friday that testimony about sensitive emails found on a former Capitec official’s laptop were admissible against him.

Faick Davids, who resigned from Capitec after nine years with the bank to join African Bank, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

He appeared before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg who warned him to appear again on 10 November.

Davids previously held a management post, together with accountant Andre Olivier, at Boland Bank, before the bank crisis of a decade ago saw the bank swallowed up, first by the Board of Executors (BOE) and then by Nedbank.

Olivier joined Capitec, at the time a small micro-lending business, and built it up to what Capitec is today.

In the process, he specially recruited Davids in June 2001, for his branch management skills and "high levels of energy", to become Olivier's "right-hand-man" at Capitec.

According to prosecutor Derek Vogel, Davids "shocked" everyone at Capitec nine years later with his resignation to join competitor African Bank.

Privacy

On the fraud charge, Davids is alleged to have fraudulently accessed Capitec electronic data, for unauthorised purposes, prior to leaving Capitec's employ.

Davids is also charged with violating the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA), relating to his alleged unauthorised access of the data.

He has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

During his testimony, Olivier told the court he obtained permission from the company’s IT division to access Davids' email inbox for any urgent emails that may have needed attention after Davids had left the company.

He was about to testify about the emails that he found when defence counsel Yvette Isaacs objected and alleged that Olivier's access to Davids' emails, without his permission, was a violation of his constitutional right to privacy.

Her objection led to a protracted trial-within-a-trial in which she contended that Olivier's testimony was inadmissible and, if allowed, would result in an unfair trial.

Isaacs cross-examined Olivier at length about his right to open someone else's emails, until Olivier exclaimed: "My access of the emails was strictly for business purposes and I take the strongest exception to any suggestions that I did so for other reasons."

Read more on:    nedbank  |  capitec  |  african bank  |  boe  |  cape town  |  crime

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