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Mabaso granted bail for second time

2012-03-16 17:58

Pietermaritzburg - Fraud accused Jabulani Mabaso was granted bail for the second time in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Friday.

Mabaso, who is accused of defrauding the KwaZulu-Natal education department of R200m, had his original R1m bail forfeited to the State on Tuesday.

Judge Gregory Kruger said on Tuesday that Mabaso had tried to delay the start of his trial by not attending court.

Mabaso had claimed that he did not have the funds to brief counsel for his trial.

Kruger ordered on Tuesday that Mabaso be held in custody but granted Mabaso leave to appeal against this decision.

On Friday, Mabaso's attorneys launched a fresh application for bail and acting Judge Kobus Booyens granted it to him.

State advocate Wendy Greeff did not oppose bail.

Mabaso had been overseas but has returned.

Booyens ordered that Mabaso's passport be kept by police Colonel K Naidoo and that he not leave South Africa without the written permission of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Booyens said no policeman should be in a position to allow Mabaso's bail conditions to be changed.

He told Mabaso he should attend court again on July 30 to report whether he had been able to acquire sufficient funds to pay counsel for the trial.

If he failed to save enough, the Legal Aid Board should be approached to appoint a lawyer to represent him.

Booyens warned that if he failed to attend court on that day he would probably be incarcerated.

Mabaso has failed to have his assets, that were preserved by the asset forfeiture unit, released so that he can pay for his defence.

On Tuesday, the court was told that Mabaso earned about R40 000 a month but he had to maintain properties and pay levies for assets placed under restraint by the forfeiture unit.

Mabaso faces five counts of fraud, seven of forgery, and seven of uttering and corruption.

It is alleged that prices of stationery and other items supplied to the education department were inflated and that his co-accused, Pam Bosman-Zulu, authorised the payments in return for kickbacks.